Soft drink foes cheer victory, lament remaining junk foods in schools

Monday, May 8, 2006

Last week’s announcement that most soda manufacturers will stop selling their sugary products in U.S. schools did not mention that avoiding lawsuits was part of the motivation for the self-imposed ban. Some of those who threatened legal action to stop the soda sales are patting themselves on the back over the agreement, while lamenting that the deal did not go far enough, and now plan to press for more restrictions.

“Though there is room for improvement — sugary “sports” drinks still will be sold in schools, for instance — this voluntary agreement is certainly good enough that CSPI will drop its planned lawsuit against Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cadbury-Schweppes and their bottlers,” said Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest . “I hope this settlement contributes to the momentum that is building in Congress for legislation that would require USDA to update its standards for foods sold outside of school meals. That would enable USDA to eliminate the sale of candy, cookies, French fries, potato chips, and other snack foods, as well as sports drinks, that are standard fare in school vending machines and stores.”

In the wake of the announcement of the agreement by the three largest soft drink companies, their bottlers and the public health advocacy group, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Jacobson thanked his team of litigators for “negotiating effectively with the soft-drink industry over the past six months, and for demonstrating that the judicial system can play an important role in spurring public health advances.”

Richard Daynard, a law professor and president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, which threatened the soft-drink industry with lawsuits, said in an institute press release, “The industry agreement with the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association comes after sustained pressure from potential litigation and negotiations with public health groups and their lawyers. It is a credit to the role of litigation and the legal system as a component of effective public health strategy.”

“This agreement demonstrates the potential of public health litigation to help control the obesity epidemic,” he said.

In an email exchange with the James Logan Courier, Margo Wootan, director of Nutrition Policy for the Center for Science in the Public interest, said, “Last week’s announcement that soft drink companies will pull all sugary sodas from schools is great step toward improving school foods. This agreement is the culmination of the tremendous national momentum on improving school foods — from the local policies (in LA, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, etc.), state bills (in 2005, 200 bills were introduced in 40 states to get soda and junk foods out of schools), the strong bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Congress, and threats of litigation against soda companies.”

“While today’s agreement is a huge step forward, it is by no means the last step” wrote Wootan, ” We still have a lot of work to do to improve school foods.”

The agreement, announced Wednesday morning by the William J. Clinton Foundation, means that the nation’s biggest beverage distributors, and the American Beverage Association, will pull their soda products from vending machines and cafeterias in schools serving about 35 million students, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.

Under the agreement, high schools will still be able to purchase drinks such as diet and unsweetened teas, diet sodas, sports drinks, flavored water, seltzer and low-calorie sports drinks for resale to students.

The companies plan to stop soda sales at 75 percent of the nation’s public schools by the 2008-2009 school year, and at all schools in the following school year. The speed of the changes will depend in part on school districts’ willingness to change their contracts with the beverage distributors.

Some food activists criticized the deal for not going far enough and undermining efforts to go further.

Michele Simon, the director of the Center for Informed Food Choices, based in Oakland, Ca., called the deal “bogus” and a “PR stunt” by “Big Cola” in an effort to “sugar coat it’s image.”

“This announcement could potentially undermine ongoing grassroots efforts, state legislation, and other enforceable policies,” wrote Simon in an article at,” For example, in Massachusetts where a stronger bill is pending, a local advocate is worried about the adverse impact, since legislators could easily think that Clinton has taken care of the problem and ignore the bill. What was already an uphill battle—getting schools and legislatures to take this problem seriously—was just made worse, not better, by this bogus agreement.

“Even from a health standpoint, the deal is hardly impressive. Diet soda full of artificial sweeteners, sports drinks high in sugar, and other empty-calorie beverages with zero nutritional value are still allowed in high schools,” Simon wrote, “Also, parents concerned about soda advertising in schools will not be pleased with the agreement. Not a word is mentioned about the ubiquitous marketing children are subjected to daily in the form of branded score boards, school supplies, sports bags, and cups (just to name a few), which is required by exclusive Coke and Pepsi contracts. “

She’s not the only one criticizing the deal.“ While the initial details are promising, PHAI is concerned about some aspects of the agreement as it is being reported,” Daynard said in the press release. “The continual sale of “sports drinks” is a cause for concern. While they have a role for marathon runners and others engaged in sustained strenuous sports, for most students “sports drinks” are just another form of sugar water. Furthermore, the change in beverages offered must be carefully monitored and cannot depend entirely on the schools’ willingness and ability to alter existing contracts. Soda companies have spent decades pushing these unhealthy drinks on children and should bear the responsibility for their removal. PHAI is also concerned about the enforcement of this agreement and its silence on industry marketing activities in the school system,” he said.

“Importantly, the agreement doesn’t address the sale of chips, candy, snack cakes, ice cream, or any of the other high-fat, high-calorie, high-salt foods that are sold widely in schools,” said Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “This is a voluntary agreement and is not enforceable, we need Senator Harkin’s school foods bill to lock in the beverage standards and give them the force of law.”

Even the diet drinks, which will still be offered, need to go, said Ross Getman, an attorney in Syracuse, NY. Getman has advocated that soda should not be sold in public schools and that long-term “pouring rights” agreements, which give a company exclusive access to sell their brands at a school, are illegal for a variety of reasons.

Getman, who contends that some diet sodas are contaminated with benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, said the soda “industry gets an “F” for incomplete” for “the industry’s failure to pull all soda from school and to recall products.”

Schools account for about $700 million in U.S. soft-drink sales, less than 1 percent total revenue for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury, the nation’s largest soda companies.

Ten of the largest U.S. school districts have already removed soft drinks from vending machines, according to Getman. States including California, Maine and Connecticut have also banned sugary sodas in schools.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with NDP candidate Sheila White, Scarborough-Rouge River

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Having worked as an aide, advisor, and Executive Assistant to municipal and provincial politicians, Sheila White is running for the Ontario New Democratic Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Scarborough-Rouge River riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Retrieved from “,_Scarborough-Rouge_River&oldid=498931”

Three Tips For Choosing The Best Cancer Insurance Plan

Cancer is one of the diseases which is a nightmare for any individual when it strikes as it is a painful disease and can leave the individual with vulnerability and dread. The loss is in terms of just not health but also wealth as cancer treatments are pretty costly and not everyone with a low economic capability can afford it but there is one thing which comes to the rescue-Cancer Insurance Plan A cancer insurance plan is an extraordinary insurance plan created specifically to designate the purpose of quick money to the individual on the immediate diagnosis of the disease. The insurance money can come to subside your utility in a lot of ways like the chemotherapies, hospitalization cost, medical procedures, and sometimes even travel. Cancer insurance are quite literally a plunge of a miracle for the individual and everyone should definitely have themselves covered with the best cancer insurance plan but the question arises how to choose the best, so here we are sharing four tips with you on how to choose the best cancer insurance plan1.Look out for the plan which provides for the coverage of majorly all the stages of Cancer: The best cancer insurance plan is the one which covers you for all the stages of cancer including the minor, major, and early-stage as cancer can be detected at any stage so it is vital that the cancer insurance plan covers all the stages 2.Provides for stage-based payout: It is vital for the best cancer insurance plan to provide you for the stage-based payout for you to pay for the costs at each stage of the treatment. A good plan is one that offers you at least 25% of payout at the preliminary stage and a hundred percent at the final stage so you must look out for the plan which offers you the stage based payout system 3.Allows you for waiver of the premium: The purpose of an individual opting for a cancer insurance plan is to safeguard oneself from the costs as having cancer means deterioration of health due to the intense treatment and the disease itself. When undergoing therapy or treatment, the diagnosed person is unable to work, which means he is at a loss or work so it is essential to choose a cancer insurance plan which offers much-needed financial assistance by providing solutions for these circumstances. Waiver of premium is one such feature of best cancer insurance plans, as it keeps the cancer plan active by waiving off the premium for the next few years, mostly three.The above mentioned are the tips you must consider before buying the best cancer insurance plan for yourself and the family as these tips can help you choose the plan which can come to your rescue in times of need.

Australia’s new controversial workplace regulations come into effect this week

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has urged the federal opposition Labor Party to focus on industrial relations (IR) as significant changes come into force from Monday 27th March. The legislation was passed in a row of controversy by parliament in December last year.

The contentious WorkChoices measures aim to move workers onto a federal industrial relations system and increase to the use of individual workplace contracts – under which conditions such as overtime and penalty rates can be set. The new WorkChoices arrangements include scrapping of unfair dismissal rights; the control by Federal government over state-based IR systems; more encouragement of individual contracts; award-cutting of award rates; secret ballots for industrial action and removal of the no-disadvantage test in new contracts.

The union movement has launched a fresh campaign to protest this week’s changes. ACTU secretary Greg Combet warns that some employees will feel the effects as soon as they come into force, because they will no longer be protected by the previous unfair dismissal laws. He says with the changes becoming enforced this week, the Federal opposition party must now concentrate on industrial relations and not on “political infighting”.

Australia’s Prime Minister, John Howard, says he’s prepared for a union scare-mongering over the IR laws, but assumes the campaign will fail. “I predict the scare campaign will go on,” he said. “I also predict that the scare campaign will fail.” Mr Howard says workers should wait and experience the new system for themselves and that the changes will give workers greater flexibility. “Over time it will be beneficial,” he said.

Combet feels different about the effects. “It’s likely, somewhere around Australia tomorrow, someone is going to be sacked unfairly and they’ll be the first victim of the new laws,” he told the ABC. “The really significant thing is that the balance of power in the workplace is shifting sharply to the business community, to the employer.”

Federal Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews told reporters last week that “the sky would not fall, because people would go to work next Monday and not detect any difference.” He described union protests as “hysterical outbursts”. “There is nothing in this legislation that people need to worry about in the ordinary course,” he said.

Despite the Howard government’s increased majority in the Senate, the passing of bill has not been smooth. In November last year, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators rallied across the nation to express dissent of the IR legislation. Ex-Finance Minister, Senator Nick Minchin, said most Australians “violently disagree” with the recent IR changes and there was a real prospect that the High Court could overturn the Work Choices laws.

The HR Nicholls Society, described as one of Australia’s most politically conservative organisations, has likened the new federal laws to the former Soviet system of “command and control.” Society president Ray Evans says he does not like the centralised power being handed to the government under the changes, nor its encroachment on states’ rights.

Evans says the myriad of complex new laws would create a system where “so-called IR professionals would stand to make a lot of money sorting through it… every economic decision has to go back to some central authority and get ticked off,” he said . “There is a lot of that sort of attitude in this legislation and I think it is very unfortunate.”Kemalex Plastics owner Richard Colebatch of the HR Nicholls Society said the changes are “very complicated for anybody to decipher… The professionals will spend a lot of money, the employers’ money, working their way through the mire trying to create the new rules people are going to work towards.”

But the Prime Minister says “more jobs will be generated in the small business sector as a result of the removal of the absurd job-destroying unfair dismissal laws, and the greater flexibility for people to make workplace agreements at the enterprise level will lift productivity,” he told reporters in Melbourne. “Sure some people will complain, but a lot of people will benefit through getting job opportunities. Young people, who will get an opportunity to put their step on the bottom rung of the ladder for the first time, will benefit enormously.”

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) said WorkChoices regulations do not go far enough in clarifying who can legally issue medical certificates for sick leave. AMA vice-president Dr Choong-Siew Yong said WorkChoices regulations meant employers and employees faced uncertainty and confusion over sick leave.

“The regulations fail to acknowledge two very serious failings,” Dr Yong said in a statement. “One, if people are seriously ill, they should be seeing their medical doctor. Two, opening up medical certification to a whole range of non-medical practitioners will make it difficult for employers to take sick leave seriously.”

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Wikinews Shorts: December 6, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, December 6, 2008.

The global monthly sales of German car maker BMW have fallen by more than a quarter, as consumers are spending less due to the economic slowdown.

According to the company, BMW sales have fallen 26.2% in November from a year ago, whilst sales of its Mini subsidiary, which is based in the United Kingdom, were 20.8% lower. Sales in November for BMW’s luxury Rolls-Royce branch were also down 18.5%.

From the period of January to November, the company sold 1.32 million cars, 1.8 percent fewer than last year, when it sold 1.34 million vehicles.


  • “BMW sales dip more than a quarter” — BBC News Online, December 5, 2008
  • “BMW’s November sales slide 25 percent” — The Miami Herald, December 5, 2008

The United States space agency NASA has put off the launch of Mars Science Laboratory rover mission. It was scheduled to fly next year, but the mission has been delayed by testing and hardware problems.

According to agency officials, the launch of the rover would be postponed until 2011. The delay could add US$400 million to the cost of the mission, which is likely to be higher than $2 billion.

“We will not lessen our standards for testing the mission’s complex flight systems, so we are choosing the more responsible option of changing the launch date,” said Dough McCuistion, the director NASA’s Mars program.


  • “Nasa delays its next Mars mission” — BBC News Online, December 5, 2008
  • “NASA delays next Mars rover mission” — The Earth Times, December 5, 2008

Three Canadian soldiers were killed by a bomb in southern Afghanistan Friday, bringing the number of Canadian military casualties in the war to 100.

Canada’s top commander in Afghanistan, Brigadier General Denis Thompson, said that his troops were bringing “peace and stability” to the country. 2,500 Canadian troops are based in southern Afghanistan as part of NATO’s mission to defeat the Taliban.

Canada’s military presence in Afghanistan is due to end in 2011.


  • “Canada Afghan death toll hits 100” — BBC News Online, December 5, 2008
  • Agence France-Presse. “Afghanistan deaths bring Canada troops’ toll to 100: military” — Google News, December 5, 2008

Armed robbers pulled off a record jewelery heist in Paris, France when they on Thursday robbed the Harry Winston store near Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

Four male thieves, two of whom where dressed as women, stole most of the inventory of the high-profile boutique. The loot has been valued at 85 million (US$107 million).

The robbers brandished firearms and forced fifteen customers and staff into a corner of the store. No shots were fired and no one is reported hurt. Police have no immediate leads.


  • “Robbers in drag steal $100M in jewel heist” — CNN, December 5, 2008
  • Agence Press-France. “Diamond thieves pull off 100-million-dollar Paris heist” — Google News, December 5, 2008

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Understand What Your Dog Can Do Before Teaching Any New Tricks}

Understand What Your Dog Can Do Before Teaching Any New Tricks


Cordell George

The performing of dog tricks, while not a necessary part of a dog’s education, is an accomplishment that offer dog owners and his friends a great deal of amusement and adds materially to the value of a dog.


All dogs can be taught tricks, but some breeds have a special aptitude in that direction. At the head of the list of trick dogs is the poodle, as he takes to the performance of tricks as if it was second nature, and he is the main reliance of all showmen dogs.Newfoundlands, St. Bernards and Great Danes learn without difficulty, while the collies and spaniels are very intelligent; the terriers are quick learners and among the toy dog breed, the Yorkshire Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier and Toy Poodle are highly spoken of and can pick up tricks almost effortlessly.In selecting the tricks that are to be taught a dog, the owner must show some discretion and no attempt should be made to teach dogs tricks that are not within their powers. For example, a big St. Bernard or Great Dane is sadly out of place or rather almost unachievable attempting to sit up, walk on his hind legs or dance.These dog breeds are physically incapable of doing such tricks and persistent attempts to train them are really toying with their dignity. They can, however, with appropriate guidance and training taught to fetch and carry, jump, shake hands or speak. Talking about specialty, it is interesting to note that dog breed such as spaniels are particularly apt at fetching and carrying, collies can learn to count and speak readily, and the terriers have a wide sphere of possibilities.Dogs which are to be taught tricks must have their education begun early in life, so that the playfulness of puppy hood can be taken advantage of, for as dogs mature they take on a sedateness and seriousness that increases the difficulty of teaching them to assume unnatural positions, whereas, with a puppy a trick can be made more or less a matter of play and he will enjoy going through with it.In the general education and training tricks to a puppy, very little punishment should be given and in trick puppy training no punishment at all. A dog can be forced to do certain things, but if forced he generally acts so slow and sulky that it detracts from his performance, whereas, if he is coaxed into doing them and performs because he likes to, he will go through with his act with an enthusiasm and spontaneous that is most attractive and fun loving.For these reasons you must not get overly excited while training your young dog nor speak loud, nor cuff and whip him, but should by frequent good-natured repetition of the same performance persuade and coax him to assume certain attitudes or do certain things, and when he has done so, praise him; he will then know that you appreciate what he has done. It is also most desirable to reward him with plentiful of praise and treats.To end, remember not all dogs can perform every single dog tricks, as some breeds do have some physical limitations. Even so, enjoy teaching your dog “achievable” new tricks, and most importantly have fun along the way!

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Understand What Your Dog Can Do Before Teaching Any New Tricks}

Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

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Boston Cyberarts Festival opens with Hotel@MIT gala

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Cambridge, Massachusetts —The 2005 Cyberarts Festival, which runs through May 8, 2005, opened with a gala at the Hotel@MIT, a hotel near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The gala, which took place in a series of function rooms on the third floor of the hotel, started at 6:00 p.m. and ran past its stated end time of 9:00 p.m. The event featured food and drink, as well as computer art from a variety of artists whose work will be featured in the festival.

Local Wikipedia contributor Samuel Klein displayed a customization of Daniel Wunsch’s rcbirds program, which converts Wikipedia recent changes feeds into a series of bird calls and other sounds from the open-sound peep project, differentiating edits by the anonymity of the user, the name and namespace of the article involved, and the user’s contribution history. Different types of edits produced different bird calls; once or twice during the evening, conversation was briefly interrupted to undo vandalism signaled by the stream of sound.

Martin Wattenberg, a researcher at IBM’s local research lab, who has also developed software to visualize the history of changes to Wikipedia pages, exhibited his visualization of the decision tree of a computer playing chess, described jokingly as “Tiny Blue.”

Other presenters included Newbury’s new Boston Music Project .

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Global markets plunge

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stock markets across the world have fallen sharply with several seeing the biggest drop in their history.

Asian markets saw the biggest sell-off. The Nikkei dropped 9.62% to reach a 20 year low. Japan also saw a collapse of a mid-size insurance company, Yamato Life Insurance Company, which declared bankruptcy. The Hang Seng, which was one of the few markets that was positive yesterday, fell 7.19%. Australia dropped by 8.4% and South Korea saw a 9% fall.

In Europe, markets dropped at the open with the FTSE losing 11%. They have recovered only sightly with all European markets losing more than 5%. The European sell off was more about the Asian lows then any specific news. European banks and financial institutes saw the most selling. Also, oil related companies saw large drops as an result of an expected decrease in oil consumption.

The U.S. markets opened lower with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling below 8,000, before recovering slightly. President George W. Bush made an address on the economy and said markets were being “driven by uncertainty and fear.”

Oil has seen losses of more than US$6 in trading with the current price of a barrel of oil less than $80. This is a year low for oil. News also came out that OPEC will hold an emergency meeting on November 18 to discuss the falling price of oil.

Charities, such as Cats Protection, today said that they have lost much of their funds in collapsing banks. Cats Protection had a total of £11.2 million saved in the now-collapsed Kaupthing bank.

The British National Council for Voluntary Organisations said that 60 of its 6,500 have lost money due to the collapse of banks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to its lowest level in five years at 8,579.19, falling 679 points in one day. This, at 7.3%, is the eleventh largest percentage fall in the history of the index. The growth then continued, with the index being up over 150 points on the start of the day at one point.

The index, did however, recover, and as of 19:30 UTC was up 17.68 points, or 0.21%, pushing the index up to almost 8600.

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners, commented on these massive falls. “What we’ve seen here was one big margin call that just kept feeding on itself, so the opposite could happen. But you need a catalyst,” he said. “I’m more convinced now than ever that this market has made a bottom. The capitulation came when we breached 8,000,” he continued. “It doesn’t mean we can’t go back and revisit that level.”

The UK’s FTSE 100 index fell dramatically to close below 4000, in the index’s worst week in history. This is despite the fact that just a few days ago the index was above 5000, and the index peaked above 5500 in September.The FTSE 100 index has fallen by 41% this year.

Barclays Wealth analyst Henk Potts commented on this massive fall. “We are drowning in a sea of red numbers,” he claimed. “Investors are concerned about the exacerbation of the credit crunch and the gloomy forecasts for economic growth. The reality is that most investors have been spooked by the sheer pressure that the credit crunch is putting on the global economy.”

The Japanese Nikkei 225 has recorded it’s third biggest drop in history with a massive sell-off in the exchange that has resulted in USD 250 billion being knocked of the index’s value.

Toyota, which is the second largest carmaker in the world, fell by the largest amount in 21 years, while Elpida Memory, the world’s largest manufacturer of computer memory, dropped in value to a record low.

Masafumi Oshiden, a fund manager in Toyota commented on the drop.”It’s capitulation,” he said. “There are lots of forced sellers. If you’re a fund that’s going bust you need to close out all your positions.”

George W. Bush commented on the financial situation earlier today. “Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market — much of it driven by uncertainty and fear,” he said. “This has been a deeply unsettling period for the American people. Many of our citizens have serious concerns about their retirement accounts, their investments, and their economic well-being.”

Bush then continued by promoting the government’s plan’s to get through the crises. “Here’s what the American people need to know: that the United States government is acting; we will continue to act to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets. We are a prosperous nation with immense resources and a wide range of tools at our disposal. We’re using these tools aggressively.”

Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister, also spoke on the economy. “I think we quickly realised that we cannot solve the problems we have got as a result of the sub-prime market collapse simply by improving liquidity,” he said speaking in Birmingham to business leaders earlier today. “That would simply not be enough to deal with the bigger problem of rebuilding the banking system for the future and restoring trust is a fundamental element of that.”

Jim Flaherty, the Canadian minister for finance, also commented today on the recent incidents in the economy. “It is important to underline that Canada’s banks and other financial institutions are sound, well capitalized and less leveraged than their international peers,” he claimed. “Our mortgage system is sound. Canadian households have smaller mortgages relative both to the value of their homes and to their disposable incomes than in the U.S.”

“”However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the continuing disruption of global credit markets, which has been severe and protracted, is making it difficult for our financial institutions to raise long-term funding. This is beginning to affect the availability of mortgage loans and other types of credit in Canada,” he continued. “The Government has therefore decided to act to address the current scarcity of private sector lending to Canadian mortgage markets and lending markets overall. This is going to make loans and mortgages more available and more affordable for ordinary Canadians and businesses.”

20:15, 10 October, 2008 (UTC)
  • DJIA
  • 8.451,19 128,00 1,49%
  • Nasdaq
  • 1.649,51 4,39 0.27%
  • S&P 500
  • 899,22 10,70 1,18%
  • S&P TSX
  • 9.264,57 335,61 3.50%
  • IPC
  • 19.952,30 357,87 1,76%
  • Merval
  • 1.215,990 71.340 5,54%
  • Bovespa
  • 35.615,26 1,474.03 3,97%
  • FTSE 100
  • 3.932,06 381,74 8,85%
  • DAX
  • 4.544,31 342,69 7,01%
  • CAC 40
  • 3.176,49 266,21 7,73%
  • SMI
  • 5.347,22 451,62 7,79%
  • AEX
  • 258,05 23,92 8,48%
  • BEL20
  • 2.123,44 117,44 5,24%
  • MIBTel
  • 15.438,00 1,081,00 6,54%
  • IBEX 35
  • 8.997,70 905,20 9,14%
  • All Ordinaries
  • 3.939,50 351,80 8,20%
  • Nikkei
  • 8.276,43 881,06 9,62%
  • Hang Seng
  • 14.796,90 1,146,37 7,19%
  • SSE Composite
  • 2.000,57 74,01 3,57%
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    1 48 Is A Scale Often Used For Model Aircraft And Model Railroads

    Submitted by: Annie Blaire

    1:48 scale is popular among enthusiasts both as diecast models, construction toys and plastic models. It is especially traditional with manufacturers of scale model airplanes and model railways (where it is known as O gauge). 1:48 is also the most popular scale among Lego hobbiests because it is almost the scale of the minifig (1.5 inches: 6 feet).

    It is close in dimension to 1:43 scale and 1:50 scale which are very popular for diecast vehicles.

    Many manufacturers produce die-cast models of cars, buses, trucks construction equipment and other vehicles in scales compatible with or similar to O scale model railways. These are available in 1:48 scale, 1:43 scale and 1:50 scale. Producers include Conrad, Corgi, NZG, TWH Collectibles and many others. These are popular with collectors and easy to find.

    In the past, Tamiya has started to manufacture a stock of military trucks scale models in 1:48 in addition to their more common 1:35 scale stock. This has been seen as an attempt to step into a bigger market since the stiff competition in the more bigger scale. This is the popular scale for Admiralty Board style models and Shipyard builders models.


    It is common with producers of model railroads.

    The biggest makers of USA 0 scale model trains today are Lionel, Weaver Models, LLC, MTH Electric Trains, Atlas O, and LLC.

    In the USA, manufacturers such as the Ives, American Flyer and Lionel used 0 scale for their budget stock, marketing either Gauge 1 or Wide gauge (also known as standard gauge) as their premium models.

    The Great Depression wiped out demand for the expensive bigger model trains, and by 1932, 0 gauge was the standard, almost by default. Because of the emphasis on play value, the gauge of pre World War II 0 gauge model trains varied. After World War II, manufacturers started paying more attention to gauge, and post-war engines and rolling stock tend to be larger and more detailed than their earlier counterparts.

    Since the early 90s, O scale manufacturers have begun placing more emphasis on details, and the scale has experienced a resurgence in fame, although it remains less hamous than N and HO gauge. However, newer companies including MTH Electric Trains, LLC, Lionel, Atlas O, and Weaver are making very exact 1:48 scale models of trains.

    0 gauge beginnings up until the mid-1970s, the various producers trackside items would interoperate with one another, but the model train cars themselves used couplers of differing designs, often making it difficult or impossible to use different producers cars together. The post War consolidation did little to improve matters. Marx used three different standards depending on the product line. Lionel used two, so frequently the companies’ own entry-level stock were incompatible with their high-end items , let alone with the competition. Hobbyists who wanted differing standards to interoperate had to resort to replacing couplers.

    Between 1946 and 1976, the primary U.S. manufacturers of O gauge trains were Marx and Lionel, with American Flyer switching to the more-realistic S gauge and the rest of the manufacturers out of business.

    About the Author: from the info site

    with a lot of context about o scale and o gauge figures.Info Model Railway – Railway modelling (UK, Australia, Ireland and Canada) or model railroading (US and Canada) is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modelled at a reduced scale. The scale models include locomotives, rolling stock, vehicles, tracks, signalling, roads, buildings, o gauge, lamps and features such as streams, mountains and canyons.


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