News briefs:May 28, 2010

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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 Economy.com, 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.

Four arrested in three Naperville, Illinois prostitution stings

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Monday, March 15, 2010

An undercover investigation by Naperville, Illinois law enforcement has led to the arrest last Thursday of four people allegedly involved in prostitution. The stings came after police received tips that people were using websites like Craigslist and Backpage.com to sell sexual performances in Naperville hotels. 

Patricia H. Scoleri of Naperville was arrested after an unidentified neighbor observed consistently suspicious activity at Scoleri’s home. Traffic was unusually heavy and consisted mostly of luxury cars in an otherwise quiet, middle-class neighborhood. Also, the visitors were mainly middle-aged men, and an odd string of lavender-colored lights were hung on the front window.

Police say Scoleri worked alone. She was arrested at 2 p.m. local time (2000 UTC) and is charged with violation of anti-prostitution laws, anti-cannabis laws, and the Massage Licensing Act. She apparently has four children, but the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has neither contacted her nor received a police report on her.

The second sting occurred at 5:30 p.m the same day (2330 UTC) and resulted in the arrest of Chicago resident Tonya M. Adams. She is charged with prostitution and driving without a license. Another sting about an hour later resulted in the arrests of Jessica M. Walley, a Skokie resident, and Mark A. Williams, a self-admitted Schaumburg gang member. “Walley was charged with prostitution and unlawful possession of cannabis. Williams was charged with pimping, obstructing a peace officer, driving with a suspended license and driving without insurance,” reports WBBM News Radio 780.

All four suspects are free, having paid the required ten percent of their $1,000 bail. They may face additional charges related to crack cocaine discovered during the police investigation. Arraignment is scheduled for next month at the DuPage County Circuit Courthouse in Wheaton.

48 whales beached in New Zealand

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Authorities have said that 48 whales near Christchurch, New Zealand were beached yesterday. Fifteen of them died, although the other 33 were re-floated out to sea, according to a conservation official.

The pilot whales beached themselves at Port Levy on South Island, but dozens of volunteers helped to try and get them back out to the open water out of the inlet, which is muddy and shallow. An alarm was called out at about 06.30 local time.

This is the third mass stranding on the country’s coast this summer; 125 pilot whales died in the two other beachings earlier, and another 43 were re-floated out to the ocean.

“It’s a very, very shallow bay in Port Levy, very muddy, so whether they were chasing food and got caught in the shallows, we don’t know,” remarked department community relations manager Grant Campbell to the Associated Press. “We thought everything was OK, we checked them in the boat and then we woke up this morning and saw a whole lot on the beach here.”

Campbell also commented that the whales were up to five metres (seventeen feet) long, and some of the calves were between a metre and a metre and a half (three to five feet) long.

“We really just stood with them and as the tide came in and started floating, we were just able to push them out and away they went,” said a local, Ted Haowden, as quoted by United Press International.

Locals are expected to bury the dead whales this afternoon. According to Campbell, autopsies will be performed on two of the fifteen dead whales.

Whales are frequently stranded on the beaches of New Zealand each summer, as they travel en route from Antarctica to breeding grounds. Scientists don’t know why the whales become stranded.

Wikinews Shorts: April 14, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, April 14, 2012.

Contents

  • 1 Yemen al-Qaeda attack leaves twelve dead
  • 2 Iran nuclear negotiations continue
  • 3 US Secret Service agents relieved in light of alleged misconduct
  • 4 Severe ‘life-threatening’ weather forecast for Midwestern US
  • 5 Antarctic emperor penguin population approximated from space

Twelve people were killed in an al-Qaeda militant attack on a security checkpoint yesterday in Aden, Yemen, according to the country’s Defense Ministry. Four Yemeni security force members and eight al-Qaeda militants are among the dead. Four additional people were wounded, including two al-Qaeda fighters and two members of the security force.

Al-Qaeda has been present in Yemen for several years, but gained traction last year when movements across the country called for the ouster of leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. Officials, who were unauthorized to speak to the press, spoke of the attack on the condition of anonymity.

Sources


Nuclear negotiations between Iran and six other nations continued yesterday and have made progress, according to diplomats. The meeting is the first time Iran has met with world powers in over a year. When the meeting broke for lunch, a diplomat warned of premature optimism, however. The diplomat also mentioned the possibility of reaching common ground in the future.

Iran continues to insist that the development of a nuclear program is intended solely for peaceful purposes, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened a preemptive strike, saying that his country would be threatened by Iran achieving nuclear capability. Although U.S. President Barack Obama has not eliminated the possibility of using military force against Iran, he has expressed desire for a diplomatic solution instead.

Sources


Approximately twelve members of the United States Secret Service, including agents, were relieved from their duties after allegations of misconduct, reportedly involving prostitution. The agents were serving in Colombia preceding a visit by President Barack Obama. Despite the incident, however, the agency claims that security for the President was never compromised.

All questions directed to the White House pertaining to the matter have been redirected to the Secret Service. President Obama is visiting Colombia to participate in the Summit of the Americas, where he plans to discuss issues including trade policy.

Sources


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center issued a high risk warning on Friday for parts of several U.S. states, with Oklahoma and Kansas expected to be the most impacted by severe weather. Accuweather meteorologist Paul Walker told ABC News that the weekend “should be particularly dangerous” and that the issuance of a warning two days prior to severe weather is unusual.

Officials in Kansas and Oklahoma are urging residents to watch the situation and make emergency plans with their families.

Sources


Scientists from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia used satellite imagery to approximate the Antarctic population of emperor penguins at approximately 600,000, nearly double that of previous estimates. The scientists used high resolution imagery to ensure the ability to distinguish between shadows, excrement and the penguins themselves. They also found approximately 238,000 breeding pairs of penguins in Antarctica. Two-decade-old studies estimated this number to be between 135,000 and 175,000.

Although the population estimate is higher than before, their numbers may decline in the coming years if current climate trends continue, according to researchers. Researcher Phil Trathan said “Current research suggests that emperor penguin colonies will be seriously affected by climate change.” The species, which only occupies Antarctica, is currently listed as “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Sources


Smoke from massive warehouse fire in Buffalo, New York USA can be seen 40 miles away

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Buffalo, New York —A massive warehouse complex of at least 5 buildings caught on fire in Buffalo, New York on 111 Tonawanda Street, sending a plume of thick, jet black colored smoke into the air that could be seen as far away as 40 miles.

As of 6:40 a.m., the fire was under control, and firefighters were attempting to stop it from spreading, but could not get to the center of the fire because of severe amounts of debris. Later in the morning, the fire was extinguished.

“The fire is mostly under debris at this point. It’s under control, but it’s under some debris. We really can’t get to it. We’re just going to have to keep on pouring water on it so it doesn’t spread,” said Thomas Ashe, the fire chief for the North Buffalo based fire division who also added that at one point, at least 125 firefighters were on the scene battling the blaze. One suffered minor injures and was able to take himself to the hospital to seek medical attention.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m. as many as 3 explosions rocked the warehouse sending large mushroom clouds of thick black smoke into the air. After the third explosion, heat could be felt more than 100 feet away. The fire started in the front, one story building then quickly spread to three others, but fire fighters managed to stop the flames from spreading onto the 3 story building all the way at the back.

According to a Buffalo Police officer, who wished not to be named, the fire began at about 7:00 p.m. [Eastern time], starting as a one alarm fire. By 8:00 p.m., three fire companies were on the scene battling the blaze. Police also say that a smaller fire was reported in the same building on Saturday night, which caused little damage.

At the start of the fire, traffic was backed up nearly 4 miles on the 198 expressway going west toward the 190 Interstate and police had to shut down the Tonawanda street exit because the road is too close to the fire.

At one point, traffic on the 198 was moving so slow, at least a dozen people were seen getting out of their cars and walking down the expressway to watch the fire. That prompted as many as 10 police cars to be dispatched to the scene to force individuals back into their cars and close off one of the 2 lanes on the westbound side.

One woman, who wished not to be named as she is close to the owner of the warehouse, said the building is filled with “classic cars, forklifts, and money” and that owner “does not have insurance” coverage on the property. The building is not considered abandoned, but firefighters said that it is vacant.

Officials in Fort Erie, Ontario were also swamped with calls to fire departments when the wind blew the smoke over the Niagra River and into Canada.

It is not known what caused the fire, but a car is suspected to have caught on fire and there are reports from police and hazmat crews, that there were also large barrels of diesel fuel being stored in one building. Firefighters say the cause of the blaze is being treated as “suspicious.” The ATF is investigating the fire and will bring dogs in to search the debris.

Online Booking Of Good Shirdi Hotels

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Online Booking of Good Shirdi hotels

by

satyajit

Shirdi is the holy abode of Shri Sai Baba and provides a much different experience from the ordinary tourist sites. It is instead a spiritual destination, thronged by thousands of people everyday from all across the India. The believers and disciples of Sai Baba come to pay homage to their deity all throughout the year. Being over-crowded with tourists all the year round, it is advisable to make online booking of Shirdi hotels prior to your visit to this holy land, much in advance. Hotels in Shirdi promise comfortable stay at most reasonable rates.

Shirdi is a small town in Maharashtra, which came into existence and popularity because of its famous Sai Baba mandir. It is well connected from Pune and Mumbai by bus, train and private taxi services. People of all religions, caste and creed visit this temple, which weaves and binds them in communal harmony and brotherhood. The best time to visit the town is between June to August as the weather is very pleasant during this period of the year. However, people come to this place at all times of the year, irrespective of the heat and sweat, with immense faith and belief in God. Three major festivals are celebrated in Shirdi with great pomp and show, namely the Ram Navami in March, Guru Purnima in July and Vijaya Dashmi in October. During these times, Shirdi is over crowded by devotees, who come to experience the essence of vibrant chants of prayers and bhajans and get the blessings of their Sai Baba.

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Due to immense faith in Sai Baba, Shirdi is always bursting at the seams with lots of hustle-bustle and crowd. In such a situation, it becomes inevitable to make online booking of Shirdi Hotels, before stepping into this pilgrimage town. Online booking of Shirdi hotels not just assures you of a safe and confirmed accommodation on arrival, but also makes you accessible to special offers and packages at the most competitive rates. You get special discounts and complimentary services when booking your rooms on-line like a free stay for every 10 night bookings with hotelpushpak.com, complimentary breakfast, and free pick and drop from the main bus terminal or railway station. With easy availability of all facilities from the comforts of your home, you can assure a hectic-less, hassle-free spiritual holiday for your family, without having to run after travel agents and railway station or airport, to confirm and collect your itenary details.

Shirdi hotels provide well equipped rooms with all the comforts of a decent stay at most competitive rates. Not only do they provide good services and hospitality, they even keep their tourists informed of the temple activities and functions and make arrangements for their temple visits. You can hire priests and guides right from the hotel premises to guide you through your way to a special spiritual offering to your deity, as per your wishes.

For any further details on Shirdi Hotels and online booking of Shirdi hotels, visit www.hotelpushpak.com and avail of the best deals and discounts.

Author is an editor for

Shirdi hotels

.We provide online booking for

hotels in Shirdi

and

hotels and tour in India

for all major tourist destinations across the country.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Australian Budget for 2006-2007 released

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Tuesday, May 9, 2006The Australian Budget (Appropriation Bill No. 1) for 2006-2007 was released by the Australian Liberal PartyAustralian National Party coalition government treasurer, Peter Costello (Higgins, Liberal).

Costello noted the resilience of the economy against natural disasters and terrorism, and through “disciplined and prudent management” the Government was able to “repay Labor’s debt” of quoted 96 billion dollars of net debt and the Government was now “debt-free”.

Costello noted that the Government budget was in “surplus for the ninth time” with a forecast surplus of 10.8 billion.

Contents

  • 1 Infrastructure
  • 2 Tax reform
  • 3 Assistance to families
  • 4 Defence
  • 5 Conclusions
  • 6 Sources

Barack Obama presents rescue plan after GM declaration of bankruptcy

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Monday, June 1, 2009

In a televised speech from the White House at 16:00 UTC today, President of the United States Barack Obama presented a reorganization plan following the 12:00 UTC announcement by General Motors that it had filed for bankruptcy and Chapter 11 protection from its creditors, the largest bankruptcy of a U.S. manufacturing company.

Describing the problem with the company as one that had been “decades in the making,” Obama explained the rationale behind his proposed reorganization plan for General Motors. He stated that his intent was not to “perpetuat[e] the bad business decisions of the past,” and that loaning General Motors money, when debt was its problem, would have been doing exactly that. His plan, he stated, was for the United States government, in conjunction with the governments of Canada and Ontario (which he thanked for their roles alongside the government of Germany which he thanked for its role in selling a corporate stake in GM Europe), to become shareholders in General Motors. The United States government would hold a 60% stake. The government will give GM a capital infusion of US$30 billion in addition to the funds it has already received.

Of the government ownership he stated that he refused “to let General Motors and Chrysler become wards of the state”, and described the bankruptcy of Chrysler, and the bankruptcy of General Motors that he envisioned as being “quick, surgical, bankruptcies”. He pointed to the bankruptcy of Chrysler as an example of what he envision for General Motors, but stated that General Motors was a “more complex company” than Chrysler.

Responding to challenges voiced by political opponents, before the speech, that the federal government would actively participate in the affairs of the restructured company, he stated that he had “no interest” in running GM, and that the federal government would “refrain from exercising its rights” as a corporate shareholder for the most part. In particular, he stated that the federal government would not exercise its rights as a shareholder to dictate “what new type of car to make.” He stated that he expected the restructured GM to make “high quality, safe, and fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow,” and several times described what he anticipated as “better” and “fuel-efficient” cars, after a streamlining of GM’s brands.

He said to the general public that “I will not pretend that the hard times are over.” He described the financial hardship that some — shareholders, communities based around GM plants, GM dealers, and others — would undergo as a “sacrifice for the next generation” on their parts, so that their children could live in “an America that still makes things,” concluding that one day the United States might return to a time when the maxim (a widely-repeated mis-quotation of what Charles Erwin Wilson once testified before the U.S. Senate when nominated for the position of Secretary of Defense) would once more be true that “what is good for General Motors is good for the United States of America.”

Apple introduces iPhone and Apple TV

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Apple Inc. today has introduced the much-anticipated iPhone at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco.

The iPhone is claimed to be “a revolutionary mobile phone” as stated on the Apple website. The device appears to be running a mobile version of the Apple operating system Mac OSX. It is approximately the same size as a 5th generation iPod, it has a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen display that is used to access all features of the phone including number dial, as well as making phone calls. The iPhone plays music, movies, displays pictures and is able to connect to a wireless network.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the device by walking onto the stage and taking the iPhone out of his jeans pocket. During his 2 hour speech he stated that “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone, We are going to make history today”.

Today Apple also released their Media Center device – Apple TV. It will directly compete with Microsoft’s Media Center operating system. Apple has taken a different approach to the media center market; rather than storing content (such as movies, music and photos) on the device, Apple TV connects to a computer (Mac and Windows) over a wirless network connection and plays all content stored on that computer. This makes it substantially easier for users to organize their media content.