British Chancellor George Osborne downgrades growth forecast in annual budget

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 26-04-2019

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered the budget today, an annually-held audit of the country’s finances deciding how taxpayers’ money should be spent. He set out plans to boost the housing market in his fourth budget, as well as stating the economy will grow by 0.6% — half his prediction four months ago.

George Osborne revealed plans to improve the housing market, including a “Help to Buy” shared equity scheme which would offer buyers who can place a 5% deposit on a new house, a 20% loan to buy it. He said: “This is a budget for those who aspire to own their own home”. He also offered a new Mortgage Guarantee, created in conjunction with mortgage lenders — the scheme would allow them to offer loans to homeowners without the need for a large deposit and offer guarantees to support up to £130bn of lending for three years beginning in 2014.

As a measure to attract investment to the British economy, he announced to reduce corporation tax from 21% to 20% taking effect from April 2015. The rate of corporation tax has fallen from 28% in 2010 to the current level of 21%. The United Kingdom is to have lower rates of corporation tax than the USA at 40%, France at 33%, and Germany at 29%.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) stated the government debt reduction programme to reduce the budget deficit will miss its targets. The government has forecast the total public sector debt will begin to fall by the financial year 2015/2016, while OBR says national debt will reach a high of 85.6% of GDP, £1.58 trillion, in 2016/17. Osborne defended the government efforts to reduce the deficit and said: “Our judgement has since been supported by the IMF, the OECD and the Governor of the Bank of England.”

In response to the Budget speech, the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband said: “At the worst possible time for the country. It’s a downgraded budget from a downgraded Chancellor […] Debt is higher in every year of this Parliament than he forecast at the last Budget. He is going to borrow £200 billion more than he planned.”

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls said to The Independent, “They are borrowing £245bn more in this Parliament, we said all along …said this two years ago, if they had moved more quickly with a sensible, targeted package of measures to kick-start the economy, which would have meant at that time more borrowing for a VAT [Value Added Tax] cut to bring forward housing investment, then we would have got the economy growing and the deficit coming down.”

The Business Secretary Vince Cable told the BBC in an interview, the “age of austerity” would probably end within the current decade, but made no more definite forecast.

The head of the British Federation of Small Businesses, John Walker, said: “The Budget opens the door for small businesses to grow and create jobs. The Chancellor has pulled out all the stops with a wide ranging package of measures to support small business. […] [W]e are pleased to see the scrapping of the 3p fuel duty due in September”.

Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of Unite the Union, criticized the budget for not helping working families. He said: “This is a Budget for the few by the few that attacks the many. Millionaires are days away from getting a £40,000 tax cut from the Tories, but George Osborne is using the budget to attack hard-working public sector workers. The worst chancellor in British history has gone further by giving big business another tax cut while staff caring for the sick get pay cuts. […] [H]e should have raised the national minimum wage by £1 and drop the senseless plan to give millionaires a tax break in a few days’ time”.

Using Landscape Designs In Norwalk Ct To Make A Property Look Bigger

Filed Under (Irrigation) by XpvB79 on 26-04-2019

byadmin

When someone wishes to enhance the appearance of a small property, they have a few options available regarding the Landscape Designs in Norwalk CT they incorporate into this area. A smaller property will instantly look larger to those visiting, while giving the home a polished appearance to enjoy. Here are a few ideas one can use to make their land look larger than it really is.

Try Changing Walkways

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A sidewalk that leads from curbside in a straight path toward the front door can make the amount of properly present look a bit smaller. Curving or angling the walkway will trick the eyes into thinking the amount of land is more expansive than it is in reality. Consider adding a sidewalk made of cobblestone or paving blocks as these will have slight spaces in between each one. This will also give the eyes more to look at, making the land seem bigger as a result.

Avoid Large Items

If a homeowner plants large bushes or wide-based trees on a property without a lot of land, they will overtake the area rather quickly. Keeping foliage on a smaller scale will help free up more land so it is not obscured. Planting intricate floral blooms or adding bushes without a lot of height will keep the area balanced instead of making it feel overcrowded.

Use Bold Colors

Adding color to a yard allows the homeowner to draw the eyes into the direction they wish. Since color grabs the attention of those in the area, placing hues strategically will help make a yard feel bigger. Place colored flowers close to the perimeter of the home to draw the eyes in this direction instead of the property. Placing flowers along the perimeter of the yard will draw the eyes outward, making the land as a whole feel larger as a result.

If a homeowner wishes to switch the way they use their Landscape Designs in Norwalk CT to make their property feel larger, they can hire a reputable landscaping service in the area to help with this task. Contact Giglio Landscape Services LLC today to discuss options available and create a plan to upgrade the property as desired.

Florida highway pileup, fire kills five children, two truck drivers

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 26-04-2019

Saturday, January 5, 2019

A road accident followed by a fire on a Florida highway near Gainesville on Thursday killed five children in a church bus and two truck drivers. One semi truck and a car broke through the center guardrail before colliding with other vehicles; around 50 gallons of diesel fuel, officials said, spilled and ignited.

The children were all from Marksville, Louisiana. The Avoyelles House of Mercy, a Pentecostal church, had been travelling 700 miles from Louisiana to Walt Disney World and was within an hour of its destination. One truck driver was from West Palm Beach, Florida, the other from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The deceased were aged nine, ten, thirteen, two aged fourteen, 49, and 59. At least eight more people were hospitalized.

The accident sequence began, Florida Highway Patrol described, in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 close to Alachua when the initial collision between the car and truck occurred. After crossing the center divider, the out-of-control vehicles collided with the church bus and a second semi truck in the southbound lanes. The bus overturned, with occupants ejected; a southbound fifth vehicle was unable to prevent itself running through the debris. Reports indicate this vehicle may have struck victims lying on the roadway.

According to eyewitness Vinnie DeVita, “within probably 15 to 20 seconds of it all, it exploded. I mean, just a ball of flames.” DeVita narrowly avoided being caught up in the accident. The Alachua Sheriff’s Office tweeted the response “required all hands on deck.” Authorities stated the road was damaged by the fire’s ferocity. Emergency workers have indicated a homicide probe is ongoing.

Guardrails can only take so much

Another eyewitness, Nicole Towarek, described extensive tire marks and “insane” heat. Florida Department of Transportation official Troy Roberts said yesterday morning the road itself, which is straight in the vicinity, will be examined as part of investigations. He said “Guardrails can only take so much.” The guardrail would be examined, Roberts said, to determine if it had performed as designed. The state had lanes closed last night as it worked to repair the damaged surface.

Also investigating is the Florida Highway Patrol, which is attempting to ascertain who, if anyone, is to blame. Meanwhile the National Transportation Safety Board, commonly involved in major highway accident probes, was absent. It is presently unable to operate due to a shutdown of much of the Federal government in a budget dispute; however, its website notes that its operations center is still accepting accident notifications without specifying if this resource is operating 24/7 as it usually does.

Canada pursues new nuclear research reactor to produce medical isotopes

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 26-04-2019

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Saskatchewan provincial government alongside the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) have come together to establish a CA$500 million, 10 megawatts research nuclear reactor to produce medical isotopes.

“In 1949 … cobalt-60 treatment was tried for the first time here in Saskatchewan, where it saved a woman battling cervical cancer. Maybe we can lead again in terms of nuclear medicine,” said Brad Wall, the Premier of Saskatchewan, “Governments should be involved in pure research. We’re dealing with some circumstances as they present themselves”

“We’ve had faculty that are interested in this. We have an issue of national importance, We see a reason why the U of S and the province could assist in this national issue. We see how it could help the country. We see how it could build on the university’s research strength,” said Richard Florizone, U of S vice-president of finance and resources.

The research conducted at the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron on campus would be enhanced by a research reactor.

“In the case of a power reactor, in Saskatchewan we have much better alternatives. In the case of a medical isotopes research reactor, this may be a circumstance where the benefits outweigh the risks,” said Peter Prebble, director of energy and water policy for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society.

The nuclear reactor at Chalk River, Ontario in Canada was shut down on Thursday, May 14 by the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) due to a leak of heavy water and will not re-open until late 2009 or spring of 2010.

The repairs of the NRU are complex and challenging. “I’ve heard it described as . . . trying to change the oil in your car from your living room. We’re faced with conducting remote investigations in a radioactive environment with high radiation fields, conducting the examinations and inspections through small openings in the top of the reactor and accessing over great distances,” said David Cox, director of the NRU engineering task force.

“The unplanned shutdown of the NRU will result in a significant shortage of medical isotopes in Canada, and in the world, this summer,” said Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources.

The Petten reactor in the Netherlands is another of the six extant nuclear reactors globally. It must also be shut down between mid July and mid August.

Medical isotopes are used in diagnostic procedures for cancer, heart disease and other medical conditions. When radioactive isotopes are injected into the body, radiologists can view higher radiation via medical imaging, enabling them to make a more accurate diagnosis.

Marketing blitz begins for final ‘Star Wars’ film

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 22-04-2019

Sunday, April 3, 2005With six weeks before the sixth and final Star Wars film saga, Revenge of the Sith, hits theaters worldwide on May 19, the movie studios behind the brand have launched a massive marketing and merchandising campaign. It includes toys aimed at children, collectibles for adults active in fandom and other related merchandise such as science fiction novels based in the Star Wars universe.

The 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm studios make millions of dollars in licensing fees from toy manufacturers and promotional deals with fast-food restaurants, candy and cereal boxes. Even telephone companies are getting into the act. Cingular Wireless will be rolling out a Star Wars-themed promotion and handset downloads within the next few days, according to a company spokesman.

Sales from Star Wars tie-in merchandise have brought in a lot of money over the years. Star Wars toy sales themed with The Phantom Menace brought in $500 million. In 2002, Attack of the Clones toy sales were $225 million, according to reports.

In January 2003, toymaker Hasbro struck the biggest licensing deal for the brand when it agreed to pay Lucasfilm $200 million in cash and stock for the exclusive rights to make Star Wars-themed toys until 2018. That figure does not include Lucasfilm’s percentage of the profit from each toy’s sale.

Wal-mart and Target, the two largest toy retailers in the U.S. have entire aisles devoted to tie-in Star Wars action figures, full-sized mock ups of light sabers and other more whimsical items. Hasbro is even marketing a “Darth Tater” special edition of its classic Mr. Potato Head.

The merchandise also has a literary side. Author Matthew Stover has a monetization of Revenge of the Sith as part of a multi-book deal between Lucasfilm and publisher Random House’s science fiction specialty label, Del Rey. Stover’s book has consistently been in the Top 50-most ordered books, according to Amazon.com. Other Sith-themed books released within the past few weeks include coffee table picture books and behind-the-scenes documentation detailing the making of the film.

UK mother cleared of attempted murder of ME-suffering daughter

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 21-04-2019

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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Bridget Gilderdale, a mother from Stonegate, East Sussex, has been found not guilty of the attempted murder of her daughter, Lynn Gilderdale—a 31-year-old sufferer of chronic fatigue syndrome (more commonly known as ME)—after her daughter was found dead at their home on 4 December, having been killed using a concoction of pills and morphine. The case has called into question the United Kingdom’s assisted suicide laws.

There is no dispute that you were a caring and loving mother and that you considered that you were acting in the best interests of your daughter

Bridget Gilderdale had already admitted to aiding and abetting her daughter’s suicide, but the jury decided, unanimously, to acquit her of a charge of attempted murder. The presiding judge, Mr Justice Bean, had already questioned the accusation’s suitability, asking prosecutor Sally Howes “why it was considered to be in the public interest”. Once the verdict was delivered, he said, “I do not normally comment on the verdicts of juries but in this case their decision, if I may say so, shows common sense, decency and humanity which makes jury trials so important in a case of this kind. There is no dispute that you were a caring and loving mother and that you considered that you were acting in the best interests of your daughter.”

Gilderdale was given a 12-month conditional discharge. The case stands in contrast to the life sentence received last week by Frances Inglis, who killed her severely brain damaged son Tom by injecting him with heroin. Tom had, however, never expressed any wish to die, and his mother had ignored medical advice, while Lynn had previously attempted suicide. When this attempt had failed, her mother had assisted her in ending her life.

at present the law is a mess.

The case has brought into the limelight the debate over a person’s “right to die” and the United Kingdom’s laws on assisted suicide. Some claim that, with a new draft policy clarifying the law in the pipeline, Bridget Gilderdale should not have been prosecuted at all. A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service defended the decision to prosecute, saying that “It was not clear cut: there was a sequence of events and the toxicologist could not prove which of these stages resulted in death,” and that it was not certain whether Lynn Gilderdale had died from assisted suicide. Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, says that there is a “clear ethical difference” between asisted suicide and murder, and that the law does not take this into account. She said, “Ultimately, the Government needs to review the law in this area, as this case highlights at present the law is a mess.”

Wikinews Shorts: December 9, 2008

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 19-04-2019

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, December 9, 2008.

Contents

  • 1 US media group Tribune files for bankruptcy protection
  • 2 Quebec votes in general election
  • 3 Bailout for US automakers nears agreement
 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

The United States media group Tribune Company has filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday as it struggled to sort out its US$13 billion debt. It is the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States, responsible for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

The firm has been hit hard by the industry-wide slump in newspaper advert revenues this year. Sam Zell, the billionaire who owns Tribune, took out large loans in order to buy the firm back in June of 2007.

The United States Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection law states that a company can continue trading whilst it sorts out its finances.

Sources


 This story has updates See Quebec’s Liberal premier Jean Charest wins third term 

The Quebec general election is underway in the Canadian province of Quebec. Premier Jean Charest called the elections, saying he needed a majority to guide Quebec through a period of economic difficulties caused by the worldwide financial crisis.

Polls indicate that the Charest may obtain a majority, with support for his Quebec Liberal Party increasing to 45%, while support for the Parti Québécois remains at around 30%.

The polls will close at 01:00 GMT (20:00 local time), and the results will probably come in soon after that.

Sources


The United States government is reportedly close to an agreement for a US$15 billion bailout plan for the country’s three largest auto firms.

According to a draft obtained by the Associated Press, the deal would give loans to Detroit‘s struggling Big Three automobile manufacturersFord, General Motors, and Chrysler — but under the condition that the auto industry restructures itself to survive. Another condition is that the incumbent US President, George W. Bush, would appoint an overseer to supervise the effort.

Analysts suggest that the agreement could be signed into law by the end of this week.

Sources


Thai PM Thaksin ousted by coup

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 18-04-2019

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thailand’s army general ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a military coup, declaring martial law and revoking the constitution. Army spokesperson Col. Akara Chitroj said army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin would be acting prime minister. An announcement from the military earlier declared a provisional authority loyal to King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Earlier a number of tanks had surrounded the government headquarters in the capital of Thailand, Bangkok. Hundreds of troops had deployed at government installations and major traffic intersections. Swedish television has shown footage of troops with military vehicles setting up checkpoints on roads, as well as soldiers on guard (follow the video links within the article). The footage shows troops wearing yellow ribbons tied to their uniforms, the color of the King.

The Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has declared a state of emergency from New York, where he is currently with the UN. “The prime minister with the approval of the Cabinet declares serious emergency law in Bangkok from now on,” Thaksin said on a government-owned TV channel. He has also sacked the current Thai army commander.

There was a scare last week when several army tanks were seen in the streets of Bangkok, but army commanders said they were simply returning from exercises.

The last coup was 15 years ago, back in February 1991; there have been 23 coups (successful or attempted) in the last 74 years in the country.

Thailand has been in political turmoil since the results of April’s general elections were annulled, leaving the country without a working legislature. Thaksin had won elections in 2001 and 2005, and was widely expected to win planned elections in November.

According to Sky News, 50 soldiers have been said to be inside Bangkok’s Government House.

All international news stations were taken off the network of cable operator UBC. All local stations are now airing a military speech loop stating everything will be over shortly.

The army issued this statement shown on national TV:

“Whereas the political reform commission under the democratic constitutional monarchy, comprising the commanders in chief of the armed forces and the head of the national police, have secured the situation in Bangkok and nearby suburbs without any resistance.

“In the interest of maintaining law and order, a request is therefore made for public cooperation for which our apologies for any inconvenience.”

After killing wife and children, police officer commits suicide in Noyon, France

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 17-04-2019

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A police officer has shot and killed his wife and two of their children at the train station in the French city of Noyon in the department of Oise, the local prosecutor said, after the wife had informed the officer of her intention to separate from him. Their sons were aged three and five; a third child, twin to the five year old victim, survived the attack and is in the care of child services. The killings took place around 11:30 local time (0930 UTC) on Sunday.

The wife, born in 1983, called the gendarmes (police) in the morning, and they arrived to find her explaining to their five children about the domestic argument which had escalated. The husband returned while the police were present, and they reported he seemed calm and did not interfere with the children being moved to a neighbor’s home, so they departed. The woman reportedly chose to leave her house when her husband was not there, and headed to the station, where the husband awaited them armed.

After assassinating his family, the police officer committed suicide. The wife’s family lived in Guiscard, near Noyon. The station at Noyon was closed after the incident. Late on Sunday, the police were searching for a witness who escaped after observing the events.

Four feared dead in Ireland helicopter crash

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 16-04-2019

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A helicopter crash in the Mourne Mountains is believed to have killed four people in Northern Ireland.

Just before 4 pm local time (1500 UTC) the police received reports of a “plane in distress” from residents. The helicopter is believed to have crashed in an area called Leitrim Lodge located between Hilltown and Rostrevor. The Democratic Unionist representative for the region has said “the local community was shocked and now feared the worst.”

The local fire services, police and the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team are currently combing the area from the wreckage. The Air Accident Investigation Branch has been notified about the incident.