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Archive for September, 2019


Cyclists Jason English and Liz Smith win 24 Solo in Australia

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

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Mount Stromlo, Canberra — This Easter weekend, elite mountain bike riders competed in the Australian 24-hour solo championships at Canberra’s Stromlo Forest Park. Jason English from Port MacQuarie rode 33 laps and won the men’s race. Liz Smith from Wollongong rode 25 laps and won the women’s race.

Races are won by riding the most laps. If two riders complete the same number of laps in 24-hours, the winner is the one who has ridden them in the shortest time.

Riders wear lights on their helmets and bicycles during night laps. Due to the time of year, there is roughly twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness each day.

The event is a curtain raiser for the WEMBO World Solo 24 hour Mountain Bike Championships, which will be held at Stromlo Forest Park on 12 and 13 October 2013. The race was for solo riders only.

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The weekend before, the teams of riders took to the track at the Mont 24 hour race at Canberra’s Kowen forest. With over 3,000 riders participating, it is now Australia’s largest cycling race.

The team version of the race was favoured by the weekend warriors, but also attracted more than a few elite athletes. Laps were ridden in relay fashion: each rider handed over the baton (which looked like a credit card) to another member of the team after riding one or more laps.

The track was in excellent condition, running through the trees. Without steep climbs or overly difficult technical sections, it permitted fast lap times.

No injuries were reported.


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Kiribati acquires international funding for solar power

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Last Tuesday, AusAID Australia and the World Bank’s Global Environment Fund (GEF) reached an agreement to give the government of Kiribati US$5 million (AU$4,779,000, NZ$5,985,000, €3,885,000) to install solar panels around the country capital, located on the Tarawa atoll. According to Business Desk of the Brunei Times, AusAID promised AU$3.2 million in funding, while GEF promised US$1 million. The country was the first in the Pacific to make a deal with the World Bank.

The funding was part of a US$530 million (NZ$635 million) package announced at yesterday’s Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland involving New Zealand and the European Union, Australia, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank Group, and the United Arab Emirates. Also at the summit yesterday, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had announced a national commitment of USD$54,262,000 (AU$51,861,000 NZ$65 million, €42,178,000) to Pacific region energy solutions, of which US$8,348,000 (AU$8 million, NZ$10 million, €6,483,000) would be specifically earmarked for renewable energy and improved energy efficiency in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Kiribati is heavily dependent on diesel fuel for most of the energy available on the national power grid, which supplies power to half Kiribati’s population of 110,000. In addition, a third of the country’s population lacks access to electricity. Once installation of the solar panels is complete, they are estimated to reduce diesel consumption by 230,000 liters (60,760 gallons) a year and give access to the electricity to some parts of the population that currently have no electricity. The European Union already has committed €100 million to sustainable energy in the region, with €10 million of that coming as a result of an announcement made last week.

In a press release about the news, Kiribati President Anote Tong was quoted as saying, “Kiribati faces big challenges it is remote, it is at risk from the effects of climate change, and it is vulnerable to economic shocks. […] Shifting Kiribati’s focus to reliable solar energy will provide a more secure, more sustainable power source for the country’s people.” Radio New Zealand International quoted Tong as saying, “It’s the first time we are doing this. We’re excited at the prospect of even substituting fossil fuel to a small extent at this stage. What the system being envisaged will only produce around 500 kilowatts, but this is the beginning of what I hope will be a pattern, the trend in the future.”

The European Union’s Fiji-based head of operations for the Pacific region, Renato Mele, supported alternative energy solutions like solar power for the region, but said that solar power had limitations because climate and environmental conditions sometimes meant batteries required to power the panels had a life of only 12 months, compared to other climates where batteries normally last five years. This created the potential to drive up standard operating costs. Mele has also noted these additional costs though are still lower than the cost of diesel power.

One News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver noted, “Governments will be able to put the money they (currently) spend on diesel into things like education and health.”


Looking At The Various Luxury Eyeglass Frames In Manhattan, New York


The wearing of eyeglasses is not the dread it was back in the middle 20th century. People are actually proud to be wearing glasses now, and make a fashion statement in doing so. Eyeglass wear is a booming business, in fact, as manufacturers are making luxury eyewear for consumers. An optician sells luxury Eyeglass Frames in Manhattan, New York. The choices which are available to customers at the store are numerous enough for everyone to find something unique to him or her. Here are some of these eyeglass wear choices available to customers.

1. Lots of people like to go for the horn frame look. The horn frame look stems from Germany, with each horn featuring its own unique colors. The frames are lightweight and comfortable for the wearer.2. The Oliver Goldsmith spectacles have been around since 1926. The company strove to offer spectacles that would be purchased by the upper echelon of society. The spectacles made a come back in the early 2000’s as “vintage wear.” The company has maintained its standards of quality, elegance and comfort.3. Another outstanding brand of eyeglass wear is made by Gold and Wood. This company has the distinction of selecting fine woods, buffalo horn and gold to make its signature eyeglass wear. The company goes through great lengths to be environmentally and socially responsible in the use of items to make the eyeglass wear.4. Beausoleil Eyewear began in 1987 in a Parisian shop, using genuine turtle shell and buffalo horn to handcraft the frames. These eyeglass frames are still made with the traditional craftsmanship used in the company’s beginning.

Charlotte Jones Opticians have been providing a wide range of luxury eyewear solutions for customers in the Manhattan, New York area for over 10 years. Premium brands of eyeglass wear are offered at the store. All of the frames have the distinction of being hand made. Charlotte Jones is an optometrist as well as optician who offers styles from Britain and Africa, promising elegance and unique design. She believes the eyeglass frames should reflect your personality as well as your mood. If you are looking for luxury Eyeglass Frames in Manhattan, New York, visit the website for more information.


Beirut car bomb targets Hamas official

Sunday, December 27, 2009

File:Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque Beirut.jpg

A car bomb went off in the Lebanese capital of Beirut Saturday. Two people were killed and three injured when device detonated in the southern suburbs of the city, an area where Hezbollah support is strong. The neighborhood of Haret Hreik was cordoned off by Hezbollah, preventing journalists from entering.

According to one source, Ali Barkah, Hamas’ Southern Lebanon Chief was killed. He is rumored to be the target of the bomb, according to Arab media. Lebanon’s State News Agency claim “three bombs tied to each other were placed under the vehicle”.

The bomb was detonated about 700 meters from a building in which Shiite supporters of Hezbollah were holding a ceremony for Ashoura on the eve of the event, Shiite Islam’s most important religious holiday.


An interview with gossip columnist Michael Musto on the art of celebrity journalism

Sunday, October 7, 2007

There are two things one can expect on a trip to see Michael Musto at the offices of the Village Voice: a 20-minute round-trip wait for the elevator and rapid fire answers from one of the most recognizable gossip columnists in the United States. Musto, in addition to his appearances on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and the E! network, has been writing his column for the Voice since 1984. He has recently compiled the best of them in a book released this year titled, La Dolce Musto: Writings by the World’s Most Outrageous Columnist. He was Carrie Bradshaw, replete with a prodigious use of puns, before Sex in the City was a thought. His column is a romp through his life, spats and opinions on socio-political issues. As David Thigpen of the Chicago Tribune wrote, Musto is “a funny and caustic satirist who masquerades as a gossip and nightlife columnist.”

Musto, a Columbia University graduate, is a rarity in today’s celebrity world: he is accessible. He often corresponds with his readers and his public functions are a mix of parties, nightclubs, academic lectures, university panels and film premieres.

He is friendly and frank, and he welcomes people to join him in his world (“I just got a message that Michael Lucas died!” he says staring wide-eyed at his phone; the message turned out to be false). Wikinews reporter David Shankbone spoke with Musto about his life and his relationship to the world of celebrity journalism. And he did not hold back.


  • 1 On writing a gossip column
  • 2 On celebrities
  • 3 On the gay community
  • 4 On outing gay celebrities
  • 5 On New York City
  • 6 Musto on Musto
  • 7 Sources

Quality Home Painting Stamford Ct

byAlma Abell

The expression, “Watching paint dry,” is a popular catchphrase that typically describes a boring activity. It is a humorous phrase for tedious or monotonous tasks or events that are uninteresting. However, for homeowners, this phrase does not hold the same meaning. Although homeowners who hire painting contractors to paint their homes do not literally watch the paint dry on their walls, waiting for the paint to dry is a gratifying experience. The smell of a freshly painted home executed by professional painters who use flattering colors is an inexpensive way homeowners can change the appearance of their homes and the atmosphere in each room.

In recent years, colors used for home painting have become more vibrant, and color choices for the home have expanded dramatically. Many companies that sell paint now offer more daring colors that were not even considered stylish in the past. This trend has become very popular and has prompted many homeowners to re-design their homes with new colors to create spaces that are more interesting. In many cases, changing the colors of the walls in a home makes it unnecessary for homeowners to purchase new furniture or accessories because the color changes brings out the existing decorations, and the colors make the home look richer.

Although decorating styles for the home change from year to year, an excellent paint job will last for many years to come, and professional painting contractors strategically use paint to create a balanced look that will bring out the most notable features in a room. They work with homeowners and act as a guide when they select their paint to ensure their color choices will produce the best results and satisfy the homes overall design and character. When homeowners need decorative professional Home Painting Stamford CT to upgrade their homes appearance, Prism House Painting LLC offers quality painting that will not only enrich the interior, or exterior of their homes, but will also give their homes a polished look that will make them look fresh and new.

Whether homeowners desire to paint the interior or the exterior of their homes, painting jobs should last a significant amount of time before they need to be redone. Professional painting contractors at Prism Home Painting make certain customers searching for Home Painting Stamford CT receive painting services that will add value to their homes and create a mood in their home without costly reconstruction.


Man commits suicide by jumping from Burj Khalifa

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A man committed suicide on Tuesday by jumping from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The unnamed man, believed to be in his twenties and of a South Asian ethnicity, jumped from the 147th floor and landed on a decking area of the 108th floor. His death would be the first known suicide that has happened at the skyscraper—currently the tallest in the world—since the building opened in January 2010.

The owner of the building, Emaar Properties, released a statement saying that at 09:00 local time Tuesday, “an incident involving a male” was reported. They continued, saying, “The concerned authorities have confirmed that it was a suicide, and we are awaiting the final report.” According to witness statements taken by the police, co-workers said the man had had a holiday request denied.

Suicide rates in the United Arab Emirates are higher than several other developed countries. Workers in Dubai say they suffer from “social abuse,” facing long work hours and few days off. Chenji, a Chinese worker in Dubai, spoke to the Big News Network about the man’s suicide, saying, “It’s a desperate act.” He added, “They promise things they don’t give once you get here.”

The Burj Khalifa has been temporarily closed to visitors as a result of Tuesday’s incident.


Effort to end monkey-ing around on Delhi’s subway

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

New Delhi authorities hope a fierce looking primate will solve the problem of mischievous monkeys infilitratring the city’s subway system. The Hindustan Times reports that langurs will be used to scare away their smaller cousins. A langur-wallah (or handler) is being paid 6,900 rupees (US$ 167) a month as a retainer and “will be called in whenever there is a monkey problem” says Anuj Dayal of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. “There are too many monkeys” said Mr. Dayal.

In June, a monkey reportedly crawled through some pipes and into a subway car jumping around and making faces at passengers who were evacuated to another car while staff chased the creature.

Delhi is known to suffer from trouble brought on by monkeys. The animals are reported to invade homes, schools and government offices in the city. Scores of animals have moved in as the city expands into surrounding forests. In an effort to control the problem, the Delhi administration captured about 500 monkeys and took them to the outskirts of the city last year.


Trump administration alters citizenship rules for children born overseas to United States parents

Thursday, August 29, 2019

On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced a new policy saying some United States citizens whose children are born outside the country’s borders must apply for citizenship for their children before they turn 18. It will no longer be granted to them automatically at birth.

During the day following the announcement, the media issued contradictory reports, as did U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services (USCIS). Some outlets claimed the new rules would apply to all children born to U.S. citizens overseas—a measure that would disproportionately affect active members of the U.S. military.

Since then, USCIS has issued statements saying that the change will actually affect very few people. Thursday, acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli issued the following statement: “This policy update does not affect who is born a U.S. citizen, period,” Cuccinelli said. “This only affects children who were born outside the United States and were not U.S. citizens. This does NOT impact birthright citizenship. This policy update does not deny citizenship to the children of U.S. government employees or members of the military born abroad.” He also told PBS in an interview, “We could have communicated this a lot better, but it is almost nothing.”

One official from the U.S. Department of Defense says this change in policy may affect about 100 people each year and the USCIS places it much lower, at 20 to 25.

What has actually changed, legally, is that, until now, children born to U.S. citizens who were serving in the military overseas or to U.S. government employees stationed overseas were considered “residing in the United States” for the purposes of citizenship, meaning they were treated as if they had been born on U.S. soil. Under the new model, this will no longer be the case. Serving members of the military and government employees will have the file paperwork and submit the same applications as civilian citizens who happen to live abroad.

Under U.S. law, anyone born on actual U.S. soil is an automatic citizen regardless of the parents’ status. This model, called “birthright citizenship,” has been in force since shortly after the U.S. Civil War and was implemented as a means of confirming that the recently freed slaves and their descendants were indeed citizens. Anyone born outside the U.S. who has at least one U.S. citizen parent is also eligible to be considered a citizen from birth, but the parents may have to file paperwork or provide proof of paternity depending on whether they have themselves lived in the United States and for how long, whether they and their children are living in the United States at the time, and, in the case of unmarried couples, whether the U.S. parent is the mother or the father.

For example, a U.S. couple who happens to have a child while visiting France but who return with that child to the United States face a less complicated path to confirming their child’s citizenship than a similar couple who decide to raise their child in France. If that French-born child wishes to pass citizenship on to his or her own children, he or she must first spend a certain number of years residing in the United States, with utility bills and other paperwork to prove it.

Until this new policy, children born on U.S. military bases and to U.S. government employees were not subject to this level of complication. The military bases were considered U.S. soil for this purpose. For example, former Senator John McCain was born on a U.S. military base in Panama and considered eligible to run for President.

The new, stricter rules also apply to the children of U.S. citizen parents who have never formally lived in the U.S., parents who became citizens after their children were born, recently naturalized parents, to children adopted while their parents were living outside the United States, and the children of legal U.S. permanent residents serving overseas while awaiting citizenship at the time of their children’s births or adoptions.

“Tonight, there’s someone likely on patrol in a war zone, or at an embassy, who is scared to death that their child is no longer a citizen, just because they were born overseas,” U.S. army veteran and director of VoteVets Will Godwin told NPR. “The stress and strain that this is causing military families is a cruelty that one would never expect from a Commander in Chief.”

Ur Jaddou, who served as a lawyer for USCIS under then-President Barack Obama and now heads the immigrant advocacy organization DHS Watch accused USCIS of attempting to minimize the problem: “If you go back in the last 2 1/2 years there is a systemic attempt to narrow the circumstances … to limit the number of people who can enter the country. And now achieve citizenship through their parents.”

“Military members already have enough to deal with, and the last thing that they should have to do when stationed overseas is go through hoops to ensure their children are U.S. citizens,” said Andy Blevins of the Modern Military Association of America.

The new policy is to take effect October 29.