Monday, March 12, 2007

24 of 26 Swiss Cantons rejected the proposal for a single health insurance system, in which premiums would be based on income and wealth. The vote on Sunday was the latest in a series of attempts to cut rising costs and ease the financial burden on citizens.

Around 71% of voters rejected the reform. Turnout was at about 46%, slightly above the Swiss average.

As expected, voters in the main German-speaking part of the country turned down the planned reform, which was supported by the centre-left but opposed by the centre-right as well as the business community, parliament and the government.

Opposition in the French and Italian speaking regions was less pronounced. The cantons Jura and Neuchâtel in the French speaking regions voted in favor of the proposed reforms.

Health insurance premiums are higher in southern and western Swiss cantons than in German-speaking areas.

The Swiss Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin said an important part of the Swiss Population appeared to be opposed to “a revolution” in health insurance but he said that he wanted current reforms currently under discussion in the Swiss Parliament to go ahead. He called on all sides, especially health insurers and the cantonal authorities, to make efforts to reduce spending on health insurance and aim for a greater cost efficiency. Currently Switzerland has 87 private insurers providing mandatory basic health care coverage for Swiss residents under a 1996 law. But costs have sky-rocketed. Over 100,000 people are not covered by health insurance due to non payment.

To win the battle of the cost of health care, everyone must place his or her private interests behind the interests of the general public. -Pascal Couchepin at a news conference

Opponents to the initiative argued that a single insurance system would lead to complacency and create a two-tier system, in which the wealthy would be the only ones available to afford to have additional private insurance coverage.

Supporters of the initiative said a single health insurer would increase the system’s efficiency and allow for annual savings of at least 300 million Swiss Francs (about $245 million) in administrative costs. Currently, the funding system is unbalanced, since many clients on low incomes use state subsidies to pay their premiums, according to the Green Party and the Social Democrats.

The initiative to unite all the insurance companies and introduce premiums based on wealth and income was the most recent in a series of attempts over the past ten years to reduce the public spending on health care. A proposal, similar to this recent proposal, to modify the funding system of the health insurance companies was rejected by 73% of voters in 2003.

Switzerland has the most expensive health system in Europe. Switzerland’s expenditure on health care was 11.6% in 2005, in front of Germany and France but behind the United States.

Learn more about Swiss Federal Council and Voting in Switzerland on Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

They were a happy family, never seen them argue or nothing

A father shot his two daughters and wife, then committed suicide yesterday in Erie, Western Pennsylvania according to police.

The Erie police responded to a call from the house at 11 a.m. on Saturday and found a 29-year-old man, a 27-year-old woman and two children, ages four and seven dead of gunshot wounds. A two-year old boy was hospitalised with minor injuries; he was reportedly shot in the ear.

A resident, Kevin Klino, who lives one block away from the crime scene and heads the Citizens Reunited Against Crime group told the Associated Press, “I was outside just leaving my house when I heard gunfire, four, five, or six shots… and seconds later, cop cars came flying by.” Klino was quick to talk to the police and informed the community that a gunman was not on the loose, rather, a suspected murder-suicide.

Klino also added, “This is an impoverished neighborhood with a lot of good people in it. People were just walking through the neighborhood stunned. It’s not even a tragedy, it’s worse than that… when you’ve got kids involved, it just numbs you, shocks you”

Sunday, November 5, 2006

On November 5, 2006, King Abdullah II of Jordan met with 90 survivors of the Beslan school hostage crisis during their week long vacation in Jordan, organised at the King’s expense.

The King watched the students perform traditional dances and reviewed artworks that they had created celebrating the theme of cross-cultural communication and understanding. The event took place at the King’s Academy, in Madaba, Jordan.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Over 1,600 volunteers registered to help build approximately 65,000 of the 500,000 sandbags to create dikes 20.5 feet (6.2 meters) high to protect the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba in the war against the Red River of the North flood.

700 volunteers answered at the rural municipality of St. Andrews alone. Once sandbags are filled for West St. Paul, St. Andrews, and Selkirk, then frozen culverts must be cleared.

The height of the river is expected to be Thursday, and predictions are that it will be less than Flood of the Century of 1997. There is no precipitation in the forecast, and snow in the province should be melted by the end of the week.

“The fear right now is we have to get that ice out of the river. The Amphibex [Excavators] are still working and breaking the ice apart, and everyday we buy with the warm weather and the current, it is thinning the ice down a bit, so when it does start to move, the better chance it’ll move right out into the lake,” said Paul Guyder, the emergency coordinator for the RMs of St. Andrews and St. Clements.

“I feel that we’ve done everything humanly possible to get ready,” said Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba, “But … there are fallibilities with human behaviour. We can take every preventative measure as human beings possible and we can still get Mother Nature proving again she is superior.”

Communities with ring diking will partially or fully close their dikes at the beginning of the week. Provincial officials are considering opening the Red River Floodway gates around mid-week before ice is fully melted.

Ice jams could cause flooding within the city, however opening the gates could spare neighbourhood flooding when the river rises to the estimated 6.3 meters (20.7 feet) height. The province does have back up plans for dealing with ice jams within the city if they do occur. The unpredictability of ice jams and the ensuing water level rise may cause neighbourhood flooding. The city is raising dikes where the river has jammed with ice in the past such as on tight curves and past bridges. Likewise there are excavators and backhoes positioned at these points.

Vulnerable neighbourhoods on the river banks have been reinforced with sandbag dikes at vulnerable areas from the massive volunteer effort over the weekend. Guyader feels no more extra volunteers are needed, however volunteers are still being asked to leave their names and number in case of unpredicted need. Existing personnel will assess roads, and help with clean up.

Approximately 400 of the 800 people who evacuated the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation have returned to their homes.

Former Premier, Dufferin Roblin, brought forward the floodway as a protection for Winnipeg residents and economy following the 1950 Red River Flood. The Red River floodway, “Duff’s Ditch” was finally finished in 1968, and its floodway gates have been opened 20 times saving Winnipeg from an estimated CA$10 billion in damages. The floodway expansion began in 2005 at a price of $665 million.

Polish and Chinese experts have come to survey the Red River Floodway, and Dennis Walaker, mayor of Fargo, North Dakota recognises the need for Red River flood defences down river. “Every town that you drive by from the Canadian line up to Winnipeg is either elevated or ring-diked,” said Walaker.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Alfred Hsing, a US martial artist with Chinese origins, besides having a long history of martial arts training in various styles, such as traditional kung fu, tae kwon do and karate, considers wushu – an athletic sport based on Chinese martial arts – as a form of art that pushes one’s physical limits and stimulates the mind at the same time. After having won the gold medal at the 10th World Wushu Championships, he became international movie star Jet Li’s personal assistant and went on to do stunts, action choreography, and land roles in movies.

Hungarian Wikinews contributor Teemeah has interviewed Alfred Hsing about his views on martial arts, life and Wikipedia.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A preliminary report has been released into the disastrous crash of Spanair Flight 5022 in Madrid, Spain on August 20, which killed 154. The report confirms an earlier leaked finding that the wing flaps failed and no warning sounded to alert the pilots.

The MD-82 was headed from Barajas airport to the Canary Islands. Video footage from airport security cameras shows the airliner travelling across an unusually long distance of runway before take-off. It failed to maintain altitude and quickly dropped back down at the runway’s end, before bursting into a fireball. Just eighteen people survived the accident.

The report confirms that the aircraft failed to get beyond forty feet off the ground before entering a stall and crashing. The tail of the jet struck the ground first, and the Spanish Civil Aviation Accident Investigation Commission (CIAIAC)’s report also notes that the aircraft was carrying 10,130 litres (2,673 gallons) of fuel.

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The wing flaps were “fully retracted” at “0 degrees” according to the 12-page report, which also notes that the cockpit voice recorder indicates a complete failure of the take-off warning system (TOWS) – which is supposed to alert pilots attempting to take off in a plane that is not properly configured – to sound prior to the failed ascent. Spanair checks the TOWS each day and after every change in flight crew, but neither of these occurred between the accident flight and the flight before.

It is not known when the CIAIAC’s final report will be ready, but estimates vary from a few months to two years. The latest report notes “The investigation continues. It will be necessary to carry out tests and an exhaustive examination of the recovered parts of the plane.” A separate judicial investigation also continues.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

On Monday, Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan announced his retirement from international football after he was left out of the national team squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup upcoming in June.

Radja Nainggolan, who plays for Italian club AS Roma, posted on Twitter saying, “Very reluctantly my international career comes to an end…I’ve always done everything I could to represent my country[…] Being yourself can be bothering …From this day on I will be the first fan” ((nl))Dutch language: ?Met veel pijn in het hart maak ik een einde aan men internationale carriere… ik heb er altijd alles aangedaan om er bij te zijn en belgie te vertegenwoordigen[…] spijtig genoeg is ECHT zijn niet goed voor SOMMIGE… En vanaf vandaag zal ik de eerste supporter zijn.

Nainggolan announced his decision soon after Roberto Martinez, Belgium team manager, shortlisted 28 players for the Russia World Cup. Martinez travelled to Rome to inform Nainggolan about his decision before announcing the shortlisted players. Nainggolan, who turned 30 earlier this month, scored two goals for AS Roma against English club Liverpool FC in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final. In 2017, Roma club supporters voted Nainggolan the club’s Player of the Season.

Explaining his decision to leave out Nainggolan, manager Martinez said, “It was a sad and difficult decision. He is a player with a lot of class and he was voted Roma’s best player, but I’ve made my decision for purely tactical reasons.” The Spaniard added, “We know that Radja has a very important role in his club and we cannot give him that role in our squad”.

Martinez is to finalise and submit a 23-man squad for the World Cup tournament on June 4, after his team plays against Portugal in a friendly scheduled for June 2 in the Belgian capital Brussels. After Nainggolan was left out of the squad, former Belgian international Philippe Albert said, “We must be the only country in the world to be making the trip without one of the best players in the world”.

Belgium is in Group G for the World Cup, along with England, Panama, and Tunisia. Belgium is currently world number three in the FIFA rankings.

Contents

  • 1 Wikinews News Brief January 04, 2008 23:35 UTC
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Israeli troops kill 9 in Gaza
    • 1.3 Georgian President faces election challenge
    • 1.4 US unemployment hits two-year high
    • 1.5 Israel plans crackdown on West Bank settlement outposts
    • 1.6 Transaven Airlines plane carrying 14 people crashes off Venezuelan coast
    • 1.7 Sportswriter Milt Dunnell dies at 102
    • 1.8 2007 was particularly good year for aviation safety
    • 1.9 U.S. Senator Dodd bows out of presidential race
    • 1.10 Intel ends partnership with One Laptop Per Child program
    • 1.11 British Investigators arrive in Pakistan to join Bhutto investigation
    • 1.12 Disgorge bassist Ben Marlin dies from cancer
    • 1.13 Egypt lets 2000 pilgrims through Rafah
    • 1.14 Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis once again delayed
    • 1.15 Study suggests hospitals are not the best place for cardiac arrest treatment
    • 1.16 US dollar no longer accepted at Taj Mahal and other Indian historical sites
    • 1.17 Footer

[edit]

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.