Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pirates in Somalia have released the MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying a cargo of 33 T-72 tanks, along with 20 of its crew of 21, the Russian captain having been killed by hypertension during the hijack.

A ransom of US$3.2 million was paid for the ship’s release, compared to the $20 million previously demanded and also down from the initial request for $35 million after the capture in September. By January 16 the ransom sought was $5 million, with negotiations occurring directly between the pirates and the ship’s owner. In October the pirates threatened to blow the ship up unless this was paid within days, and stated they were willing to die and take the crew with them, but this threat was never carried out.

The ransom came in on Wednesday, and after counting the money the pirates left the vessel on Thursday. One pirate, Segule Ali, said of the payment that “no huge amount has been paid, but something to cover our expenses.”

No huge amount has been paid, but something to cover our expenses

The ownership of the cargo, which includes ammunition, rocket launchers, small arms and spare parts as well as tanks, is uncertain. Although the shipment was said to be for Kenya, as acknowledged by the Kenyan government, the pirates claim to have documents proving they were destined for Sudan, currently the subject of a United Nations arms embargo. Sudan denies this.

At one point, with the ship anchored off Harardhere, the pirates claimed they had put down an attempted revolt by the crew. However, the Faina’s owner has expressed doubts about the veracity of this report, which originated with the pirates themselves.

The remaining crew are reported to be healthy by the Ukrainian Presidency and the ship is now heading to Mombasa under US Navy escort. There are 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and a Latvian on board.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The European Commission currently has proposals on the table to extend performers’ copyright terms. Described by Professor Martin Kretschmer as the “Beatles Extension Act”, the proposed measure would extend copyright from 50 to 95 years after recording. A vast number of classical tracks are at stake; the copyright on recordings from the fifties and early sixties is nearing its expiration date, after which it would normally enter the public domain or become ‘public property’. E.U. Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy is proposing this extension, and if the other relevant Directorate Generales (Information Society, Consumers, Culture, Trade, Competition, etc.) agree with the proposal, it will be sent to the European Parliament.

Wikinews contacted Erik Josefsson, European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (E.F.F.), who invited us to Brussels, the heart of E.U. policy making, to discuss this new proposal and its implications. Expecting an office interview, we arrived to discover that the event was a party and meetup conveniently coinciding with FOSDEM 2008 (the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting). The meetup was in a sprawling city centre apartment festooned with E.F.F. flags and looked to be a party that would go on into the early hours of the morning with copious food and drink on tap. As more people showed up for the event it turned out that it was a truly international crowd, with guests from all over Europe.

Eddan Katz, the new International Affairs Director of the E.F.F., had come over from the U.S. to connect to the European E.F.F. network, and he gladly took part in our interview. Eddan Katz explained that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is “A non-profit organisation working to protect civil liberties and freedoms online. The E.F.F. has fought for information privacy rights online, in relation to both the government and companies who, with insufficient transparency, collect, aggregate and make abuse of information about individuals.” Another major focus of their advocacy is intellectual property, said Eddan: “The E.F.F. represents what would be the public interest, those parts of society that don’t have a concentration of power, that the private interests do have in terms of lobbying.”

Becky Hogge, Executive Director of the U.K.’s Open Rights Group (O.R.G.), joined our discussion as well. “The goals of the Open Rights Group are very simple: we speak up whenever we see civil, consumer or human rights being affected by the poor implementation or the poor regulation of new technologies,” Becky summarised. “In that sense, people call us -I mean the E.F.F. has been around, in internet years, since the beginning of time- but the Open Rights Group is often called the British E.F.F.


  • 1 The interview
    • 1.1 Cliff Richard’s pension
    • 1.2 Perpetual patents?
    • 1.3 The fight moves from the U.K. to Europe
    • 1.4 Reclaiming democratic processes in the E.U.
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links

byAlma Abell

If you are an animal lover, you realize how important a pet can be. For most people, a pet is another member of the family. For some folks, having a pet is like raising a child that will never leave home. This is why it is so important to find an Animal hospital Leawood KS, that provides personalized care for the patient as well as support for the concerned owner. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case because some animal clinics and veterinarians are more concerned about money than providing quality, caring service. While it is nice to be able to pay the bills, it is important for them to realize customers are the ones who finance them.

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Animal care involves a number of different treatments. The most common are birth and behavior control. Having an animal spayed or neutered is the first step in dealing with a lot of annoying problems. For example, a female cat who isn’t spayed will roam around the house and howl every time she comes into heat – sometimes for days on end. The males have even worse habits because they have a tendency to spray to mark their territory. Click here for more details.

Other important reasons to visit an animal clinic are vaccinations and treatment for parasites. Dogs and cats can get a number of parasites such as intestinal worms, but dogs are also prone to heartworms, which can be deadly. Other parasitic worms that can affect your dog include roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Each of these problems will have unique symptoms, such as heartworms causing the dog to cough or roundworms causing vomiting. These parasites can severely affect the animal’s health, resulting in a loss of appetite, lost weight, lethargy and other problems.

It is generally recommended that you treat pets like people, and take them to the doctor (veterinarian) twice a year for regular checkups. The vet can keep track of changes in weight, skin conditions and any other problems your animal may have. These visits can also be useful in understanding why your pet is behaving in odd ways. Sometimes, things you consider to be bad behavior are actually the result of a health problem or parasite. If your pet is having problems and needs immediate help, an Animal hospital Leawood KS, might provide the solution. You can learn more by visiting

Monday, July 7, 2008

The United States bridge that collapsed almost a year ago, spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is close to being reconstructed. The final sections of the northbound lanes of the new Interstate 35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota were put in place on July 5. The final segment was raised with a barge-mounted crane from the Mississippi River below. A temporary bridge now connects the two segments.

The remaining seven-foot gap will be closed in several days with concrete which is poured in place. The segments for the southbound lanes will now be raised and connected. The segments were cast in a work area which was on the 35W roadbed and were then moved to Bohemian Flats, near the University of Minnesota West Bank campus. A crane places each segment on a barge for delivery upstream to the bridge site.

The bridge may be completed as early as September, well ahead of the scheduled opening date of December 24th.

Monday, January 25, 2016

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Alaska, United States, near the state’s most populous city of Anchorage. City authorities say they do not know of any injuries caused by the earthquake, which occurred early yesterday morning.

The earthquake’s epicentre was 162 miles (about 260 km) away from Anchorage, where residents reported feeling intense shaking. Associated Press reporter Mark Thiessen said he was woken from sleep by the quake, despite having taken sleeping pills earlier.

In the city of Kenai, gas explosions destroyed two homes. The quake destroyed four homes in total; the two other homes were damaged by fire, but did not explode. Authorities said around twenty people took shelter in a local armoury opened up for those whose homes were evacuated.

In Anchorage, utility companies reported small-scale power outages.

The quake was followed by two smaller quakes. Its focus was around 50 miles (80 km) underground, which, according to the National Weather Service, meant that the quake struck too deep to cause a tsunami.

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By Jennifer A. Gardner

Single mothers face a lot of problems while bringing up children in USA. Financial problems being the most important as ex-husband may not pay the court order money for child support. These mothers may not be able to do a full time job as a result they may not be able to pay for day care and may not meet the criteria for head start. Many are thus dependent on AFDC (aid to families with dependent children) or WIC (Women Infants and children). This dependence on welfare organization once established is difficult to break.

There are many reasons for the financial worries of single mothers. Although most ex-spouses fulfill their court ordered financial obligations regarding their children; a few of them do not comply with this court ordered support. The latter case not only results in extra psychological and physical burden on the single mother, it makes it difficult for her to fulfill the requirements of the child in regards to food and clothing. A lot of people may consider court ordered support as luxury; but on the contrary it is just enough to meet the requirements.

The children constantly grow so they require a regular supply of clothing and food. Education is not entirely free even in state schools. Similarly preschool children require child care, whereas day care is difficult to afford. More over the WIC or AFDC will not support the mother till the issue of court order is resolved. This means going back to the court again and making your ex-husband to pay either by wage garnishment or by any other legal way. It is not an easy task to find an ex- husband so the lone mother can do nothing than to rely on herself alone. This places the mother as well as the child in a danger of becoming homeless. These are the risks of single parenting.

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It is difficult to afford daycare as they usually require up to $400 per month. Most lone mothers have to take a job. However with the daycare being so costly it may not be possible for the mother to work as well as look after her preschool children. The head start and the early start are good supportive programs but most of these mothers do not fall in the specified low income groups especially when receiving court support.

So they may not get any support from head start and have to bare all the expenses of daycare all by themselves. She might not get some help from the child’s preschool also. Actually she belongs to the working community among poor. These and such are the problems faced by a single mum in America.

Short comings in the welfare system also effect these single mothers. These mothers are considered the same as any other poor social group by many federal and state programs which run WIC and AFDC. On the other hand these women are more likely to suffer from many psychiatric illnesses which then become a major hurdle in getting job or other financial assistance. As a result of which it becomes difficult for them to gain financial independence and they become permanently dependent on welfare.

As a whole the single mothers living in USA face problems which are quite different from others. It is essential that more funds should be allocated for them

About the Author: Find out more help for single dad parenting and laws on parents rights from top single parenting for dummy resouce portal at


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Friday, April 3, 2009

April Fools’ Day pranks harmlessly pervaded worldwide again this year. Media outlets and internet sites have joined family, office workers, and friends to provide a wide variety of practical jokes. Ireland, France, and the United States celebrate April Fools all day, whereas a few countries celebrate jokes only until noon such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa.

Car and Driver claimed that GM and Chrysler were ordered out of NASCAR by the White House by the end of 2009 in order to receive any more government loans. There are press releases about this short-lived prank which received controversial feedback.

The Swiss Tourism Board has announced that volunteers were desperately needed, The Association of Mountain Cleaners “makes sure that our holiday guests can always enjoy perfect mountains. Using brooms, brushes, water and muscle power, they clean the rocks of any bird droppings.”

This year Gmail produced a new autopilot feature for April 1, 2009 which can read your email and automatically respond to every message.

What was your favourite April Fool’s gag? Submit the best you heard of.
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BMW released its new Magnetic Tow Technology which allows your BMW to magnetically attach to the vehicle ahead of you. This enhanced technology allows the driver to remove their foot from the gas pedal and turn off the motor.

The Guardian proposed its move to Twitter, which would allow the newspaper to fit its article content into 140 character messages or “tweets”. Included in this venture was the archiving of past events reported by The Guardian, such as, “1927 OMG first successful transatlantic air flight wow, pretty cool! Boring day otherwise *sigh*”

Google’s technological break through for April Fool’s Day was CADIE, (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity). By extracting internet search patterns combined with Brain Search, a part of CADIE technology, Google can now search your thoughts and memories.

Wikipedia even fooled Fox News who claimed that “every item on the home page of the user-generated site Wikipedia is fake. The featured Wikipedia article regaled the “Museum of Bad Art” in Boston.” However, each item on the main page was based on reality — even news articles such as NASA reports a shower of diamonds over the Republic of Sudan, which was based on a meteorite which passed over Sudan whose fragments did reveal diamonds upon discovery.

The Conficker Internet worm had been in the news warning of a worst case scenario when computers worldwide would be affected by the virus. Even the chief security adviser for Microsoft, Ed Gibson, didn’t want to make any predictions about what would happen. Experts just knew that it was set to go off on April 1. Several anomalous happenings were attributed to Conficker including Leroy “Mac” MacElrie who claimed to be the programmer of the Conficker worm and turned himself in to police. ran an advertisement offering hotel room bookings on the moon which would be offered on European websites starting at £800 a night.

Qualcomm ingeniously revealed a new wireless networking technology called wireless convergence. Making use of the flight patterns of pigeons. They then use innovative solutions to converge the birds with wolves to protect the internal improvements.

Media outlets were not the only ones pulling pranks. Gaming websites across the internet Blizzard, Joystiq, and affiliates posted reviews and announcements of games with tongue in cheek. YouTube offered viewers a unique April Fool’s experience as videos were offered upside down. In Ireland, U2 fans received a U2opia concert on a shopping centre roof top concert rather than the real thing.

See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list.Tuesday, September 13, 2005

NAICU has created a list of colleges and universities accepting and/or offering assistance to displace faculty members. [1]Wednesday, September 7, 2005

This list is taken from Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students, and is intended to make searching easier for faculty, graduate, and professional students.

In addition to the list below, the Association of American Law Schools has compiled a list of law schools offering assistance to displaced students. [2] As conditions vary by college, interested parties should contact the Office of Admissions at the school in question for specific requirements and up-to-date details.

The Association of American Medical Colleges is coordinating alternatives for medical students and residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. [3] is acting as a central interactive hub for establishing research support in times of emergency. With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible. [4]

With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible.

Physics undergraduates, grad students, faculty and high school teachers can be matched up with housing and jobs at universities, schools and industry. [5] From the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Society of Physics Students, the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society.

If you are seeking or providing assistance, please use this site to find information on research support, available lab space/supplies, resources, guidelines and most importantly to communicate with fellow researchers.

The following is a partial list, sorted by location.

Alabama |Alaska |Arizona |Arkansas |California |Colorado |Connecticut |Delaware |District of Columbia |Florida |Georgia |Hawaii |Idaho |Illinois |Indiana |Iowa |Kansas |Kentucky |Louisiana |Maine |Maryland |Massachusetts |Michigan |Minnesota |Mississippi |Missouri |Montana |Nebraska |Nevada |New Hampshire |New Jersey |New Mexico |New York |North Carolina |North Dakota |Ohio |Oklahoma |Oregon |Pennsylvania |Rhode Island |South Carolina |South Dakota |Tennessee |Texas |Utah |Vermont |Virginia |Washington |West Virginia |Wisconsin |Wyoming |Canada

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byAlma Abell

If you have a broken water pipe in your home, you have a serious problem that needs to be handled right away. Set up an appointment with a plumber who will come to your home and take care of your problem right away. Of course, every homeowner should understand what needs to be done to turn off the water to their home. If this is something that you are not familiar with doing, now is a great time to learn how. You never know when you are going to have a problem with the water in your home. You need to know for certain that you can handle things until a plumber arrives. You may want to practice turning off the water to your home so that you know that you can do it. Plumbing emergencies never seem to come at a convenient time. This is why you need to be prepared.

Now, you need to think about replacing the pipe in your home. There is no possible way that you will be able to replace this pipe on your own. This is why you need to hire a plumber to come out and do it for you. Drain Right Plumbing Services will be there to help you 24 hours a day. They understand that plumbing emergencies never happen when life is going good. It may benefit you to find the phone number for this company so that you have it ready when a plumbing problem comes. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that you are going to be able to avoid.

Being a homeowner is quite possibly one of the largest responsibilities that you will ever have. Of course, there are some things that you may be able to fix on your own. Others you are going to have to pay someone to fix for you. When it comes to your plumbing, you definitely need someone who knows what they are doing. There are too many things that could quickly go round. You need to know for certain that the problem will be fixed right the first time. Contact your plumber and he will take care of it.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced today the release of the first version of gNewSense, a new GNU/Linux distribution based on both Ubuntu and Debian. The goal of the newly created distribution is to offer an operating system which is 100% proprietary software free.

Generally, GNU/Linux distributions comes with proprietary software such as kernel drivers (eg. NVIDIA and ATI card drivers), the Opera web browser or the VoIP Skype software among others. According to its developers: “From a philosophical perspective we wanted to create a GNU/Linux distribution where the user has access to all the sources for all software on the system. This includes everything from the heart of the kernel through to the everyday desktop applications.”

Ted Teah, FSF’s free software directory maintainer explained, “With all the kernel firmware and restricted repositories removed, and the reliance on Ubuntu’s proprietary distribution management tool gone, this distribution is the most advanced GNU/Linux distribution that has a commitment to be 100% free.”

gNewSense will provide users with full security updates and is available for immediate download in LiveCD ISO format along with a version of the Ubiquity graphical installer. The developers have also created a set of tools called Builder that allows users to create their own gNewSense-based distributions.

In the new 1.0 version, gNewSense has removed all non-free firmware from the kernel, removed access to the Ubuntu Restricted component (such as links to LaunchPad which are redirected to the gNewSense webpage for now) and replaced the Ubuntu logos with its own. Also the UniVerse component is enabled by default and Emacs, BSD games, NetHack, and build-essential part of the default install.

There already exists such a distribution called Ututo which aims for zero proprietary software but it never really took off in popularity. A few years ago, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu distribution, also initiated a similar initiative dubbed Gnubuntu but it never materialized.