Rescued Australian miners sign multi-million dollar media deal

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The two Australian mine-workers, who were trapped for 14 days underground in a collapsed mine, have signed a media deal reportedly worth AUD$2 million for their story of survival. Local media reports that the lucrative deal, announced by the Nine Network, is believed to be the “highest ever paid to secure news talent”. A planned TV special will be the outcome of a deal secured by Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL), which owns the Nine Network.

Miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb were entombed nearly a kilometre underground following a cave-in on April 25 at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania. A third miner, Larry Knight, was killed in the rock-fall. The two survivors trapped in a wire cage, survived by drinking water seeping through rocks until rescuers managed to dig a small tunnel to deliver fresh food and water. Their tale has captured the attention of the nation, with media corporations fighting for exclusive rights to the miners’ story.

The Nine Network’s chief executive Eddie McGuire said under the PBL deal, Woman’s Day, the Australian Women’s Weekly and the Bulletin magazines would also have access to the men. The Nine Network has announced it would broadcast a two-hour special with entitled “The Great Escape.”

Another deal is expected to be brokered with U.S. media. Mr McGuire said the deal would not restrict the pair from selling their story to CNN, the US Today Show and Good Morning America, who have all reportedly made contact with Mr Russell and Mr Webb this week.

Under the PBL deal, Woman’s Day, the Australian Women’s Weekly and the Bulletin magazines would also have access to the men, Mr McGuire said. Nine says it also wants the footage and photographs taken by the miners during their ordeal. The footage remains in the hands of the mining company.

The men, who were rescued on May 9, have not spoken publicly about the time they spent trapped underground.

See Wikipedia article: Beaconsfield mine collapse

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Internet hackers attack Al-Jazeera website, condemn news service’s Syrian civil war coverage

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The website of international news service Al Jazeera was hacked Tuesday by a group idenitified only as Al-Rashedon. The type of group and its exact purposes are unclear at this stage, although it appears to be supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

We have hacked you because your lack of support of Syrian government and militant groups backed by that government. Al Jazeera has been spreading lies.

A screenshot of the hacked page contains the current Syrian flag displayed on the top left and a screenshot of a regular Al Jazeera homepage, overlaid by a graphic resembling a rubber stamp with the word “HACK” written on it and a silhouette of two men sitting at a desk.

As well as identifying the group which hacked the website in English and Arabic, the bottom left of the image also contains an Arabic language statement from the group criticising Al Jazeera for its coverage of the Syrian civil war. When roughly translated, the message means: “We have hacked you because your lack of support of Syrian government and militant groups backed by that government. Al Jazeera has been spreading lies. We’re compelled to do so on behalf of the Syrian people.”

According to technological weblog Gizmodo, reports have emerged of the .net and not the .com version of the website being hacked. The site reports that some users have not been able to access the website.

Wikinews contacted Al Jazeera English about the incident and as of 8:31pm UTC, had received no response.

 This story has updates See Al Jazeera website restored after Al-Rashedon hack, September 6, 2012 
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3 Things To Avoid While Washing Your Towels}

3 Things to Avoid While Washing Your Towels


Roy SmithAbsorbency and durability are the keys to luxurious hotel towels. However, vigorous institutional laundering may reduce the softness and damage the texture of your Hotel Towels after some time. Here is your guide to keep your Bath linen fresh and make it last longer1. Do Not Use Extra Detergent

Creating a lot of lather by adding some more detergent will not clean your Towels better. In fact, the over dosage of detergents will make your Hotel Towels rough and damage their softness and fluffy texture. Use just a little detergent in warm water and your Towels will be good to go!

2. Do Not Add Fabric Softeners

As fancy and luxurious fabric softeners feel, they aren’t really a smart option. The fabric softeners develop a waxy layer over the surface of the towels which gives the desired softness and feel. After some time, the absorbency of your Hotel Towels will reduce because of the waxy layer leaving the towels less efficient.

3. Do Not Use the Towels Until Completely Dried

You sure do not want to host bacteria and other microbial in your bath linen. Once your Towels are out of the dryer, hang them for some time to make sure they are completely dried and do not compromise on it. Wet Towels are a heaven for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms, causing skin allergies and more.

Every pillows is different from the other, in terms of size, shape, and filling, although they look the same. Here is your guide to buying the right pillow for your hotel:

Choose the Right Size

The size of your hotel bed will determine the size of your pillow. Beds which are large in size require larger pillows for elegant aesthetics. Some hotels have extra pillows and small cushions on the bed for a luxurious feel and experience while others have a pair of pillows for an organized and sleek look to the room. You must consider the overall look of your hotel bed to decide which pillow size shall go better with the bed.

Choose the Right Filling

Depending upon your preference, you may choose between cluster fiber or gel fiber pillows. Gel fiber pillows are breathable and easy to wash. They are very fluffy and soft and provide extensive support to the neck, shoulders, and back. Cluster fiber pillows are also soft and hypoallergenic and perfect for guests with skin sensitivity and other allergies. It ensures that your guests do not catch any allergies or skin conditions from the pillow.

Thread Count and Stitching

You need to ensure that your hotel pillows are strong enough to withstand vigorous institutional laundering and are tightly woven to give a soft feel. Double-needle stitching ensures that the stitching threads do not come off after washing while locking it with a piping further keeps it further intact, giving a sophisticated look.


Hotel Pillows Cluster Fiber Pillows Gel Fiber Pillows Double Needle Stitching Pillow

Hotel Towels Institutional Towel

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Chula Vista, California becomes model for blight control laws in the US

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The San Diego, California suburb of Chula Vista has responded to the recent housing crisis with an aggressive blight control ordinance that compels lenders to maintain the appearance of vacant homes. As foreclosures increase both locally and throughout the United States, the one year old ordinance has become a model for other cities overwhelmed by the problem of abandoned homes that decay into neighborhood eyesores.

Chula Vista city code enforcement manager Doug Leeper told the San Diego Union Tribune that over 300 jurisdictions have contacted his office during the past year with inquiries about the city’s tough local ordinance. Coral Springs, Florida, and California towns Stockton, Santee, Riverside County, and Murietta have all modeled recently enacted anti-blight measures after Chula Vista’s. On Wednesday, 8 October, the Escondido City Council also voted to tighten local measures making lenders more accountable for maintenance of empty homes.

Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.

Under the Chula Vista ordinance lenders become legally responsible for upkeep as soon as a notice of mortgage default gets filed on a vacant dwelling, before actual ownership of the dwelling returns to the lender. Leeper regards that as “the cutting-edge part of our ordinance”. Chula Vista also requires prompt registration of vacant homes and applies stiff fines as high as US$1000 per day for failure to maintain a property. Since foreclosed properties are subject to frequent resale between mortgage brokers, city officials enforce the fines by sending notices to every name on title documents and placing a lien on the property, which prevents further resale until outstanding fines have been paid. In the year since the ordinance went into effect the city has applied $850,000 in fines and penalties, of which it has collected $200,000 to date. The city has collected an additional $77,000 in registration fees on vacant homes.

Jolie Houston, an attorney in San Jose, believes “Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.” Traditionally, local governments have resorted to addressing blight problems on abandoned properties with public funds, mowing overgrown lawns and performing other vital functions, then seeking repayment afterward. Chula Vista has moved that responsibility to an upfront obligation upon lenders.

That kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.

As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States during recent years, Chula Vista saw 22.6% growth between 2000 and 2006, which brought the city’s population from 173,556 in the 2000 census to an estimated 212,756, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Chula Vista placed among the nation’s 20 fastest growing cities in 2004. A large proportion of local homes were purchased during the recent housing boom using creative financing options that purchasers did not understand were beyond their means. Average home prices in San Diego County declined by 25% in the last year, which is the steepest drop on record. Many homeowners in the region currently owe more than their homes are worth and confront rising balloon payment mortgages that they had expected to afford by refinancing new equity that either vanished or never materialized. In August 2008, Chula Vista’s eastern 91913 zip code had the highest home mortgage default rate in the county with 154 filings and 94 foreclosures, an increase of 154% over one year previously. Regionally, the county saw 1,979 foreclosures in August.

Professionals from the real estate and mortgage industries object to Chula Vista’s response to the crisis for the additional burdens it places on their struggling finances. Said San Diego real estate agent Marc Carpenter, “that kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.” Yet city councils in many communities have been under pressure to do something about increasing numbers of vacant properties. Concentrations of abandoned and neglected homes can attract vandals who hasten the decline of struggling neighborhoods. Jolie Houston explained that city officials “can’t fix the lending problem, but they can try to prevent neighborhoods from becoming blighted.”

Does Chula Vista’s solution save neighborhoods or worsen the financial crisis?
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CEO Robert Klein of Safeguard, a property management firm, told the Union Tribune that his industry is having difficulty adapting to the rapidly changing local ordinances. “Every day we discover a new ordinance coming out of somewhere”, he complained. Dustin Hobbs, a spokesman from the California Association of Mortgage Bankers agreed that uneven local ordinances are likely to increase the costs of lending. Hobbs advised that local legislation is unnecessary due to California State Senate Bill 1137, which was recently approved to address blight. Yet according to Houston, the statewide measure falls short because it fails to address upkeep needs during the months between the time when foreclosure begins and when the lender takes title.

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Belgium stops telegram services

Saturday, December 30, 2017

After 171 years of existence, telegram services were permanently stopped in Belgium as of yesterday. The service was launched in 1846, and about 9000 telegrams were sent across the country from January 2017 to November 2017.

On December 12, Belgian telecommunication company Proximus, who provided telegram services in the country, announced they “will definitively end [our] telegram service” on December 29. Jack Hamande, board member of the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications, said, “It is mainly 10 customers using the telegram in Belgium today […] in finance, judicial services and insurance”.

The first telegram line was laid from Belgium’s capital Brussels to Antwerp. Usage of telegram has decreased enormously over the decades. According to Proximus’s statistics, about 1.5 million telegrams were sent during the early 1980s, with many telegrams coming from Italy, but the number dropped to fifty thousand in the early 2010s. Sending a twenty-word message via telegram in Belgium would cost around €16 (about US$19). Hamande said, “Most of the current users of telegram will shift to registered mail […] we see no reason to force the company to maintain this service.”

Telegram is still functional in Italy. It was invented in Great Britain in the 1830s, but was stopped there in 1982. The United States stopped telegram services in 2006, and the last telegram in India was sent on July 14, 2013 which began in 1850. In the mid-1980s, about 600 thousand telegrams were sent across India each day.

“If you ask young people […] they don’t know what a telegram is”, Hamande said.

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Emerging Trend Of Forex Trading In India

Emerging Trend of Forex Trading in India


Andrew Hudson

On Indian soil, Stock market is not a novice. Many trading communities have established over the years lending growth to the Indian economy. Stock market regulators in the form of SEBI, control the regulations of the share and Forex trading. Foreign exchange currency trading market is the biggest and fastest growing trading market in the world. Even in India, economic reforms and policies by RBI enabled trading in foreign exchange.

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The biggest stock exchange in India, the National Stock Exchange, started providing the currency trading platforms for the benefit of the common man. A currency trading platform provides a type of trading software used to help currency traders with Forex trading analysis and trade execution. Though Online Forex trading started in the 21st century, the Forex trading in India stands as 16th largest in terms of total daily turnover. However, common man is yet to get acclimatized with currency trading and particularly with the advantages it provides. More and more retail customers are getting themselves into the Forex trading with help from the Currency Trading Platforms provided by the national stock exchange. Though the trading platforms are being used by the agents who trade on behalf of the retail customers, the customers still have access through the Online Forex trading softwares. It is already a common pattern among the corporate houses to hedge the currency risks. It is a growing trend among the common people to trade foreign currencies. We have more and more Forex Traders in India in this decade because a large population in India earns lot of foreign exchange from overseas. There is awareness among the retail customers. Those people, who are available as Forex traders in India, are opting to join firms and helping manage the currency trading platforms for the retail customers. This is being made possible by the digitized and hassle free softwares. The agents will only guide and update about possible scenarios and the Forex market trend. However, the software available will give the short term and long term trend. These software tools will help being informed and help in reducing the risk. Above all the platforms available, the latest offer by the securities firms are to provide seminars and forums to the investors about the latest on Forex trading. Information, easy affordability, easy accessibility, low transaction costs, standardized contracts, etc. are few reasons why Forex traders in India are on a rise. Very deftly India is taking the steps to go up the ranking from being 16th now.

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Study says poor African American women less likely to receive pap smears

Wednesday, December 28, 2005Black American women living in communities with high poverty rates are significantly less likely to be screened for cervical cancer, a study finds.

The Harvard School of Public Health’s Geetanjali Dabral Datta investigated the relationship between individual characteristics and larger socioeconomic factors and cervical cancer screening rates. The Febreuary 1 issue of Cancer carries the study. More than 40,000 black women from across the United States participated in the Black Women’s Health Study.

“African-American women have twice the mortality rate from cervical cancer as white women,” said Elizabeth Ward, the director of the American Cancer Society. “Researchers need to investigate how those differences are related to socioeconomic status. One of the big factors that may account for this finding is access to high-quality medical care. Often communities that have high poverty rates either lack access to good quality care, or people have to travel longer distances to obtain high-quality care.”

David L. Katz at Yale University’s School of Medicine said; “While this finding is not surprising, it is noteworthy just the same. No one should die of cervical cancer, because a simple screening test reliably finds the condition in its earliest stages when cure is almost universally achievable. Yet, several thousand deaths from this cancer occur each year in the U.S.”

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UK vending machines begin selling sex toys

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Bars and nightclubs in London, Manchester, and Newcastle, UK, now carry vending machines selling sex toys for about £5. These fuchsia-pink Tabooboo machines are usually located near toilets to render deliberating customers a modicum of privacy. However, some hairdressing salons are giving the machines “center stage”. Products available from these unconventional vending machines include mini vibrators, “silicone ticklers”, “lust fingers”, and bottles of “love liquid” (an edible lubricant).

The Alphabet Bar in London’s West End, host to the first sex toy vending machine in the U.K., claims many people visit especially for the machine, and describes it as a “great success”. Alan Lucas, the managing director of the company behind this enterprise, Tabooboo, suggests that the success of the machines is due to younger people having a more liberal view of sex toys. He stated, “The most popular product is a vibrating rod ring which is something [the man] wears [on his penis]”.

The machines are expected to begin appearing in the U.S. and Italy.