Archive for July, 2018


GM posts first annual loss since 1992

Friday, January 27, 2006

General Motors Corporation (GM) has posted its first annual loss since 1992. GM reported losing US$4.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005 and a total loss of $8.6 billion for the entire year.

GM admitted Thursday night that the loss could swell further as it pays pensions and healthcare costs to thousands of former workers. GM warned that the amount calculated for last year is preliminary and could rise before it is officially reported to the US securities and exchanges commission in March.

The loss was far greater than analysts predicted. Ford, the second of the big three American car manufacturers, beat predictions earlier in the week. In contrast, Toyota is expected to report that it will beat last year’s profit of $11 billion.

GM’s automotive division lost $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter, driven by losses in North America. This has been attributed to GM’s shrinking market share, which has been taken by Japanese manufacturers Toyota and Nissan.

A further $1.3 billion was lost in restructuring charges. As part of the restructure, GM plans to cut 30,000 jobs and close 12 facilities by 2008.

An aide for Kirk Kerkorian, GMs largest individual investor (at 9.9%), has called on the company to halve its $1.1 billion annual dividend, cut executive pay and sell Saab.


DFB-Pokal Final: Bayern wins 4-3 in Der Klassiker final

Monday, May 23, 2016

In the German DFB-Pokal final, on Saturday, Munich-based football club FC Bayern Munich defeated rivals Borussia Dortmund 4–3 in a penalty shoot-out decider as the match ended 0–0 after 120 minutes at Olympiastadion in Berlin. This marked the third consecutive loss for Dortmund in the German Cup final. This was the eighteenth German Cup win for Bayern and eleventh domestic double.

Once you’ve reached five finals over the course of five years, simply reaching the final is no longer enough!

Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich had 70% ball possession in the game and had seventeen shots while Dortmund hit just nine. With a total of seven yellow cards shown in 120 minutes, 35 fouls were committed.

Dominating Bayern faced a shot from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang which was saved in the 85th minute. Erik Durm’s sliding tackle saved a goal for Robert Lewandowski’s shot in the fourth minute of the extra time.

As normal time ended goal-less, the match progressed to additional time. Roman Bürki delayed the Bavarian victory by disallowing Douglas Costa’s 113th minute shot as well as David Alaba’s shot in the next minute.

In the penalty shootout, Manuel Neuer saved Sven Bender’s spot kick, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos missed while Joshua Kimmich failed to score for Munich.

In the end, Munich won the cup defeating their rivals 4–3 on penalties. This match was the last match for Dortmund for their captain Mats Hummels as he is due to move to Munich next week.

In a pre-match conference, Thomas Tuchel, Borussia Manager, said, “Once you’ve reached five finals over the course of five years, simply reaching the final is no longer enough!” ((de))German Language: ?Wenn man fünf Mal in fünf Jahren in einem Endspiel steht, ist eine Final-Teilnahme nicht mehr genug!

Dortmund has won the DFB-Pokal three times. Including the 2012, 2014 and 2015 DFB-Pokal finals they have featured in five finals in the last five seasons in various competitions including the 2013 UEFA Champions League Der Klassiker final. This was Pep Guardiola’s seventh trophy with Bayern Munich in his three years as the club manager. He won the Bundesliga title each season and he is set to join Manchester City next season.

May 21, 201620:00 local time(1800 UTC)
FC Bayern Munich 0–0 (aet)(4–3) (pen.) Borussia Dortmund Olympiastadion, Berlin Attendance: 74,322 Referee: Marco Fritz, Germany
Arturo Vidal Robert Lewandowski Joshua Kimmich Thomas Müller Douglas Costa Shinji Kagawa Sven Bender Sokratis Papastathopoulos Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Marco Reus

Nelson Mandela charity official resigns over ‘blood diamonds’

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) trustee Jeremy Ractliffe has resigned from the charity’s board, twelve days after admitting to the possession of “blood diamonds”.

Earlier this month, supermodel Naomi Campbell testified against former Liberian president Charles Taylor when she claimed she received “very small, dirty looking stones” from two men, allegedly associated with Taylor. Campbell said she gave these diamonds to Ractliffe to “do something good with” in 1997. He gave the diamonds to police the day after Campbell’s testimony. The police confirmed the stones were diamonds.

The board of the Mandela charity said in a statement, “Mr. Ractliffe regrets his omission to inform the chairperson, chief executive officer and the rest of the board of trustees of the NMCF of his receipt of the uncut diamonds until now… [Ractliffe] acknowledges that had he done so, he and the board would have found a better and lawful way to manage the situation.”

Ractliffe took the diamonds from Campbell, fearing she might be prosecuted for removing uncut diamonds from South Africa, illegal without a license.

Ractcliffe said, “Naomi suggested they could be of some benefit to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund — but I told her I would not involve the NMCF in anything that could possibly be illegal… In the end I decided I should just keep them.”

Taylor is on trial in The Hague, The Netherlands for allegedly trading diamonds for weapons to supply the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone. Taylor faces eleven counts for international crimes including rape, sexual slavery, enlistment of children under the age of fifteen, and pillaging.


Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”


Rachel Weisz wants Botox ban for actors

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

English actress Rachel Weisz thinks that Botox injections should be banned for all actors.

The 39-year-old actress, best known for her roles in the Mummy movie franchise and for her Academy Award-winning portrayal in The Constant Gardener, feels facial Botox injections leave actors less able to convey emotion and that it harms the acting industry as much as steroids harm athletes.

In an interview with UK’s Harper’s Bazaar, coming out next month, Weisz says, “It should be banned for actors, as steroids are for sportsmen,” she claims. “Acting is all about expression; why would you want to iron out a frown?”

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Currently living in New York, she also mentions that English women are much less worried about their physical appearance than in the United States. “I love the way girls in London dress,” she claimed. “It’s so different to the American ‘blow-dry and immaculate grooming’ thing.”


Fire Risk Assessments How To Protect Your Business From Fire Risk

Fire Risk Assessments – How to Protect Your Business From Fire Risk



Fires not only endangering life, but they can also be a serious cost to any business. The following few lines would suggest how to escape the risk of fires occurring and measures you can take to minimize damage when fire occurs. Here I am going to explain the legal obligations that every business has to protect people in the workplace.

Essentially, fire risk assessments mean looking at all aspects of the workplace from the standpoint of fire safety: dimensions and layout, substances used or stored on the site, number of occupants, and what they do on the site, etc.

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Look for hazards such as combustibles, flammables, and sources of ignition, and consider who will be at risk or what damage may occur if fire starts. Look for places where fire will spread rapidly, or where people might be trapped or injured trying to escape. Use your findings to try to reduce the chances of a fire occurring and to take steps to reduce death, injury, or damage to property if a fire occurs. Inform employees of the fire risk assessment findings and enlist their cooperation in drawing up an emergency plan for what to do in the event of a fire: where to find an escape route, how to inform emergency services and many more.

Please make sure that your employees must know exactly what to do if a fire accident occurs and conduct frequent drills by giving fire safety training. So in a real emergency they can perform these tasks and get to safety quickly. Have a hand on the up-to-date list of people who are in the building so you can determine if anyone has been left inside. Doors should open easily in the direction of escape, and exits should be adequately marked and properly lit. Because states have specific requirements regarding fire escape doors, emergency lighting, etc., ask a fire marshal to visit your premise and advise you on providing escape routes.

Check with state fire authorities to find out whether your premises require a sprinkler system or other on-site fire-fighting equipment. In obtaining fire extinguishers, fire blankets, or other equipment, make sure you purchase equipment that is adequate for the size and conditions of your premises. Make sure all your employees know where the equipment is stored and when and how to use it properly. Be sure to check and test all equipment routinely according to the product specifications. There are well experienced and highly skilled manufacturer of these fire safety equipments is selling through online. For more information and details, please do not hesitate to visit their informative website.

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Teräsbetoni frontman J. Ahola on representing Finland at Eurovision 2008 & more

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Teräsbetoni means “steel-reinforced concrete”, and is also the name of a Finnish heavy metal band formed in 2002. Their music, which centres on an honourable warrior lifestyle or on metal itself, quickly became popular in 2003 on the Internet, resulting in a petition by fans being sent to several record labels demanding a recording deal. In late 2004 the band signed to Warner Music Finland, and the following year debut single Taivas lyö tulta rose to number one in the Finnish charts, and debut album Metallitotuus hit number two and went platinum, and has now sold about 47,000 copies.

The band, who sing exclusively in Finnish, have just released their third album, Myrskyntuoja. The lead single on this album is Missä miehet ratsastaa, which Teräsbetoni decided to enter in the Finnish selections for the 2008 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, where it was selected to go on to the semi-final in Belgrade, Serbia as Finland’s representative this year. Although Finland has seen limited success in the contest, their only victory was with a comparable group. In 2006 hard rock band Lordi – whose monster costumes and pyrotechnic displays are famed – achieved a record 292 points in the final with Hard Rock Hallelujah.

Teräsbetoni’s frontman, vocalist and bass guitarist Jarkko Ahola’s fame extends beyond the band he heads. He also features in Finnish symphonic power metal cover supergroup Northern Kings, alongside Marco Hietala of Nightwish and Tarot, Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica and Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto of Charon.

Wikinews was able to conduct an exclusive interview with Jarkko Ahola to discuss these various achievements. This interview is now published below for the first time.


  • 1 Interview
    • 1.1 On the early days
    • 1.2 On Eurovision
    • 1.3 The new album
    • 1.4 Northern Kings
    • 1.5 The future and final words
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

Retired U.S. vets sue Donald Rumsfeld for excessive service cutbacks

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

One thousand residents of the Defense Department-managed Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. filed a class-action lawsuit on May 24, asserting that the cut-backs in medical and dental services imposed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are illegal. The operating budget for the home was reduced from $63 million in 2004 to $58 million for 2005. The residents cite cuts in on-site X-ray, electrocardiogram, physical and dental services, and the closing of the home’s main clinic and an on-site pharmacy.

Chief Financial Officer Steve McManus responded that the changes not only save money but also achieved improved efficiencies. “We’re really trying to improve the benefits to our residents,” he said.

Most of the home’s costs are paid for by a trust fund and monthly fees paid by residents. By law, the Armed Forces Retirement Homes are required to fund, “on-site primary care, medical care and a continuum of long-term care services.”


Delhi High Court restores copyright infringement case at Delhi University

Monday, December 12, 2016

On Friday, the Delhi High Court restored a trial over claims of copyright infringement from photocopying of study materials for Delhi University (DU) course packs.

The charges of violation of copyright by DU’s Rameshwari Photocopy Service was dismissed by justice Rajiv Sahan Endlaw in September saying there is no copyright infringement. But the bench of justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Yogesh Khanna said the case raises a “triable issue”.

The bench restored the case, meanwhile still allowing the Rameshwari Photocopy Service to sell course packs containing copyrighted material of the publications of claimants Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Taylor and Francis. The shop has been asked to report to the court every six months on what and how many course packs it photocopies and distributes.

The owner of the photocopy service shop, Dharam Pal Singh, said there was no reason for preparation of a course pack beyond the curriculum. He said the course pack had only readings the professors require or recommend; only important sections of the published books were photocopied.

“We declare that the law in India would not warrant an approach to answer the question by looking at whether the course pack has become a textbook, but by considering whether the inclusion of the copyrighted work in the course pack was justified by the purpose of the course pack”, the bench said.

Dharam Pal said the students needed course packs because some books are limited by “availability, price and circulation”. He said they are preserving data of some books last published more than half a century ago, and that some of the books cost more than ? 2000.

The High Court said it needs “expert evidence” to judge whether it is copyright violation or, as judge Sahani ruled, a fair use.

The case of copyright infringement was filled in the court in 2012. In September, Justice Endlaw said that, according to Section 52 of the Copyright Act, this instructional use did not amount to copyright infringement. He said, “Copyright, specially in literary works, is thus not an inevitable, divine, or natural right that confers on authors the absolute ownership of their creations.” Endlaw added, “Copyright is intended to increase and not to impede the harvest of knowledge. It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors in order to benefit the public.”


How Real Estate Agents &Amp; Home Sellers Can Work Together To Close A Sale Quickly


If you think that it is the sole responsibility of a real estate agent to quickly close the deal when selling, think again. One of the reasons why real estate listings go stale or stay in the market too long is because of stubborn sellers who would not cooperate with the realtor or give some leeway to buyers.

Lets say that you would like to move, you are planning to put your property up for sale and you are looking for a real estate agent to hire. Naturally, the real estate agent would not want to waste his or her time and resources with a home seller who is not really decided so your cooperation is required. Read on to find out more about what you can do from your end to help a real estate agent sell your home.

Things to Remember when Putting Your Home Up for Sale in the Real Estate Market

Perhaps one of the most difficult markets to deal with is real estate, especially considering the fact that it is the industry most affected during the financial crisis of the past few years. This is precisely the reason why you need to work with the right realtor who has a thorough knowledge of the local real estate market.

Here are a few more things that you need to remember and some things that home sellers like you are recommended to do in order to work with a real estate agent and close a sale more quickly:

1. When choosing which real estate agent to work with, make sure to follow a pre-qualification process.

The minute that you decide to put your home up in real estate listings, the first thing that you need to do is look for real estate agents to work with. Remember that these are professionals who can already be dubbed as an expert at what they do so you need to be respectful of their time and skills. If your mind and heart is not fully decided on selling your home, do not interview real estate agents yet.

After making a decision, do a little research about the real estate agents in your area. Some of your options include:

– Realtors specializing in niche markets.

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– Realtors specializing in income brackets.

– Realtors specializing in a particular geographic location.

– Realtors who only work within a specific local area.

Now, the pre-qualification process will occur once you have narrowed down your list of potential real estate agents to two or three. Learn as much as you can about them, and make sure that you are working with someone who is an expert at selling properties within your local area.

Give the real estate agent an initial call and see how that goes. Your final choice should be the real estate agent who you feel will best represent you during the home selling process and make your decision from there.

2. A lot of honesty goes a long way.

Put yourself in the shoes of an excited home buyer. How would you feel if, after a day or two of staying in your new home, you find out that there is a family of mice hiding living underneath the stairs and the former owner did not disclose the problem to you?

You dont want this happening to the new family who will live in your home, so make sure to be as honest with the realtor about the existing structural issues and other problems with your house. This is something that will greatly affect the selling value of your home and there isnt any issue which cannot be fixed anyway. By working as cooperatively as you can with the realtor, you are bound to get the maximum asking price for your home and sell it within the span of time that you have previously set for it.

3. Give your realtor some leeway when there are factors which are beyond their control, which will affect the amount or span of time by which your home will be sold.

As a home seller, it is up to you to understand that realtors are also entrepreneurs. Being a real estate agent is not like a nine-to-five desk job where they can expect to receive regular pay checks. This is the reason why they invest their own time, money and expertise to make a sale.

There are times, however, when there are circumstances that will be beyond their control. If you are an undecided seller, for example, and they only find out about it after spending a few days with you that you dont want to sell after all how do you think this will affect their way of living? By starting off on the right foot, you and the real estate agent can establish a relationship built on trust so that you can both work towards getting the maximum value for your home in the least amount of time.

4. Set a realistic asking price for your home.

Nobody wants to buy a real estate property which has become stale or has been sitting in the market for several weeks. The best way for you as a home seller to ensure a quick sale is do a research of the current selling price in the market.

You should also do your part like clearing your home of personal clutter, making minor renovations that will increase the value of your home, and prepping up or staging your home for sale.

Additional Tips when Putting your Home Up for Sale

Another aspect of home selling that you need to consider is having a home inspection conducted prior to selling. If you already have a home inspection report, it will be easier for someone to assess the value of your home while also considering the current asking prices in the market.

When setting a bottom dollar price, make sure to talk it over with your agent and see to it that the price is realistic. There are even some potential home buyers who will go out of their way to get a police report on the neighborhood, to ensure that no sex offender is living down the street.

There are also plenty of online tools that you can use to have an idea about the current asking prices for residential real estate properties. Do a quick search of your zip code and the neighboring zip codes to have an idea about what a fair asking price is. The modern amenities within the surrounding area are another good way of determining what the selling point of your home is.

Finally, learn about the difference between the asking price and the selling price. A good real estate agent should be able to put your home up for sale at a price slightly above your homes real market value. Prepare to make some concessions with the price as well because it is you as the home seller who will have the final say as to whether a particular price range is already good enough, or if you will be waiting for a better offer to come along.

By following these tips, you are bound to get the services of the best real estate agent in the area, and have a good working relationship with the realtor so that your home will be sold at a good price, and within a reasonable span of time.

About the Author: Mark Z Home Selling Team sold over 200 homes in one year If youre looking for

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