Wikinews Shorts: December 6, 2008

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

Contents

  • 1 BMW vehicle sales lower by a quarter
  • 2 NASA delays Mars mission
  • 3 Number of Canadian soldier deaths in Afghanistan reaches 100
  • 4 Record jewelery heist in Paris, France

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.

Sources


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.

Sources


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.

Sources


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.

Sources


Motorola to launch iTunes mobile phone

Friday, April 22, 2005

Motorola has recently confirmed plans that it will launch an iTunes compatible mobile phone. The firm, which released quarterly results on Friday, revealed that the phone would be available in a few months time.

There had been speculation that the wireless communications giant would scrap the phone after an underwhelming response from US operators, however CEO Ed Zander confirmed the company’s intentions at the results presentation.

The phone, when launched, will allow users to easily download digital music from Apple’s popular iTunes music store onto their handset. The combination of mobile phone and MP3 player is a long awaited example of the much touted “technological convergence” often mentioned by the industry’s CEO’s.

Wikinews will have a reporter live at Apple’s WWDC keynote (when the software is likely to be released) on June 6 to cover the event.

Study: Socialized Canadian surgery half the U.S. cost with same results

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Americans pay twice as much for heart-bypass surgery as the socialized Canadian system, with no difference in outcome, according to today’s issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine in a study funded by American drug company, Pfizer Inc.. The research found that heart bypass surgery costs an average of $10,373 in Canada, compared with $20,673 in the United States. Even though the costs were double in the United States, the rate of complications and death following bypass surgery was similar.

High administrative costs and overtreatment are usually blamed for the higher cost in the profit-driven U.S. system. Americans spent $5,635 per capita on health care in 2003, while only $3,003 was spent by Canadians. Health spending accounts for almost 15 per cent of gross domestic product in the U.S. and just under 10 per cent in Canada; while at the same time, all Canadian residents are full covered. In addition, the average Canadian lives 2 years longer than the average American.

This is one of the first studies directly comparing the costs of surgery in Canada and the United States and it reinforces the view of Dr. Mark Eisenberg, head of cardiovascular epidemiology at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal; “The conventional wisdom is that health care is much more expensive in the U.S. and the conventional wisdom is right.” by finding that Canada’s socialized system is far more cost efficient than the U.S. model.

The cost of medications used to treat bypass patients were as much as 68 percent greater in the U.S. than in Canada and the cost of a surgical bed was 36 percent greater in the U.S.. In Canada, nursing accounted for 44 percent of the treatment costs, compared with 21 percent in the U.S. and patients stayed longer in hospital following surgery in Canada.

Corruption endangers Brazilian government

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Brazil –Denunciations of political corruption threaten the Brazilian government. The most recent case involves a deputy of the political party PTB (who supports the government of the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva) in a scandal of the services of post office.

Lula’s government representatives said that they will investigate all the denunciations and affirmed that the government is a victim of political enemies.

Contents

  • 1 Post office scandal
  • 2 Other cases
    • 2.1 Bingo’s scandal
    • 2.2 Mystery in mayor’s death
    • 2.3 The Minister Romero Jucá
  • 3 Sources
    • 3.1 English
    • 3.2 Portuguese

Why Gravel Is So Useful In Domestic Landscaping

byalex

What is gravel?

Gravel is an accumulation of rock fragments categorized in size from granule to boulder. It is sub-categorized into granular gravel and pebble gravel. Granular gravel is typically made up of rocks from .08 to .2 in diameter. Pebble gravel consists of rocks that range from .2 to 2.5 inches in diameter.

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Production of gravel

Large gravel deposits occur naturally and are a result of weathering and erosion of larger rocks. Rivers and the action of waves tend to create large accumulations of gravel. When natural gravel deposits are insufficient for human purposes, it is created by crushing and quarrying larger rocks. Quarrying and crushing usually produces gravel made out of sandstone, limestone, or basalt. A quarry can otherwise be known as a gravel pit.

Types of gravel and uses

Creek rock is generally rounded, smooth, semi polished stones that are dredged from river and creek beds. It is often mixed with concrete for sidewalks, or used alone for walkways. Crushed stone is mechanically crushed that is typically produced from limestone or granite. It is widely used in concrete and road surfaces. Pea gravel consists of small rounded stones and can be used as filler for walkways, concrete aggregate, and as an aquarium substrate. These are just a few types of commonly used gravel, as the variations are endless.

Gravel in Portland Oregon

There are high quantities of locally sourced gravel near Portland Oregon. As a result, the thriving industry of gravel supply has become a competitive market in the region. The most common types of gravel sourced in the Portland area are pea gravel, river rocks, and various types of crushed gravel and concrete. Residents in the area find river rocks to be an aesthetically pleasing addition to their landscape as well as an efficient drainage substrate. Use of river rocks in landscaping deters weed growth, and is commonly used as decorative flower bed borders. Pea gravel is less decorative than river rock, but can be used for same purposes. In Oregon this type of gravel is highly popular due to its excellent drainage capabilities and budget price. This makes it easier to buy large quantities for walkways and other extensive projects. Crushed gravel is less decorative than river rocks or pea gravel, but offers excellent stability. It is often used as a base for pavers, retaining walls and terraces.

Crushed Recycled Concrete

Residents of the Pacific Northwest are environmentally conscious. As a result, the recycled concrete supply business is a growing industry. Construction and demolition projects can create large quantities of building material waste that usually gets placed in a landfill. To create a lower impact on the environment, these wasted building materials can be turned into crushed concrete to be repurposed. This material is commonly used in walkways, drainage aggregate, and flower beds.

Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President

Saturday, March 1, 2008

While nearly all coverage of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. We now interview independent Presidential candidate Frank Moore, a performance artist.

Large creature loose in London suburb

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Police organized a search in the Sydenham Park area of south-east London after a local, Anthony Holder, was attacked by a 6ft long black animal while looking for his kitten in his back yard that borders a woodland.

Holder said the animal pounced, knocked him to the ground, and then he was “in its claws for about 30 seconds. Its teeth were out and I tried to defend myself and eventually I got the thing off my body.” Holder was scratched all over his body and suffered swelling and bruising to his hand and the back of his head. He called the police at about 2:15 am while the animal sat in the garden next door.

While Holder was being treated by paramedics, the Metropolitan Police conducted a search of the area. A citizen and a police officer saw the creature, believed by some to be a panther. Another officer also believed he saw the animal and reports it as approximately the size of a Labrador Retriever. The neighbourhood is being patrolled by an armed police response vehicle staffed by officers equipped with rifles and Taser stun guns.

Scotland Yard is currently seeking specialist advice from experts from the RSPCA and London Zoo. A spokeswoman said: “We are trying to establish exactly where the animal may have come from. In the meantime we are asking the public to be vigilant. If anyone does see the animal, do not approach it but dial 9-9-9 immediately.”

People are also being advised to keep pets indoors.

Sightings of big cats have increased in recent years. The notion of a large predator in London was initially dismissed by scientists, but evidence from footprints and droppings has led to other conclusions. The British Big Cat Society estimates 50 to 100 are currently loose across England. Livestock has supposedly been attacked a number of times. Farmers near Burford in Oxfordshire have offered a £5,000 reward for the capture of a large black creature suspected of killing livestock in the area. However, there have been virtually no human encounters.

Apple to hold media event on September 1, may update iPods and Apple TV

Friday, August 27, 2010

Apple Inc. will hold a music-centered event in San Francisco, California on September 1. It has been widely speculated that the company will introduce an updated line of iPod portable music players and a new Apple TV.

The company e-mailed invitations for the event to various media organizations on Wednesday. The message included a picture of a guitar and the time of the event. Apple did not release any information about what products would be involved.

Apple has released new iPods through previous similar events in September in anticipation of the holiday shopping season. This year, Apple may unveil a new iPod Touch with two cameras, similar to their recent iPhone 4 design. It will likely also update the iTunes music store and software.

Speculation about a new Apple TV is mixed. While many blogs are reporting that a refresh of the device will be announced, analysts say that it is unlikely to happen during next Wednesday’s event. According to Reuters, sources are saying that Apple is negotiating with major television networks, including ABC and NBC, in order to provide shows for purchase on iTunes. However, they also reported that the deal has not been completed, and none of the companies involved have commented on the rumors.

It has also been rumored that Apple will introduce a new online music service. In 2009, Apple took over a company that allowed users to stream music online rather than download individual songs. Apple has not confirmed the rumors.

Last September’s media event saw the return of Apple CEO Steve Jobs after he took a break to undergo a liver transplant. This year, the event will be held in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, previously used by Apple in April for the unveiling of the iPad.

Entertaining Yourself With Funny Pictures Online

Submitted by: Adrianna Notton

A fun thing to do when you are bored is to look at funny pictures online. The internet is filled with all sorts of images and videos including those that are meant to make you laugh. There are many hours of fun on the web that can be had watching videos, cartoons, images, and reading blogs too. It is healthy to have a good laugh. Laughing at humorous graphics on the web is a healthy thing to do.

If you want an activity that is healthy and will bring some sunshine into your life then you should check out the humorous items on the web. There are many websites that will make you laugh. There is nothing like a good laugh that can bring you out of a bad mood. Most people find that when they can see something that makes them laugh they feel happier.

Experts have proven that looking at an image or listening to music can change your mood. Sad images and music can put a person in a sad mood. On the other hand, viewing happy images and listening to happy music can put a person in a happy mood. Images and sounds trigger emotional responses in the brain and central nervous system.

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This is another example of the power of psychology. Everyone has the right to be happy. There are easy psychological techniques anyone can learn to help them be happier. Anyone can be happy when you simply apply the right exercises and tools. It is not difficult to learn these techniques. Looking at humorous images, watching cartoons, and famous comedic actors is a fantastic therapy. Laughing really will improve your mood and outlook on life.

The world has a lot of problems. Life can be difficult sometimes. People spend most of their time trying to deal with these hassles of everyday existence. Making fun of things, satire, cartoons, comics, jokes and other things that bring a smile to your face and help make you laugh are necessary for survival. For this reason, it is recommended that you try to have a good laugh at least three times a day.

Medical science has shown that people who are sick often get back to good health quicker if they watch comedies and cartoons on television. Laughter can be wonderful medicine. The human mind can be controlled in positive ways to make you feel happier and satisfied with life. Everyone deserves to have a good laugh everyday so they can live a happy life.

The internet is a wonderful tool that has improved life. It has brought amusement, entertainment, and knowledge to millions and millions of people around the world. Laughter is something that has improved the human condition over thousands of years. When you look at the great spiritual leaders of mankind, you will find they all had a good sense of humor.

If you find yourself looking at funny pictures online do not feel guilty. Laughing is a healthy habit that should be encouraged. Society needs to have people with a good sense of humor. The world is a better place when everyone has a good laugh everyday.

About the Author: Are you looking for

funny videos

? Then be sure to visit Jokeroo, one of the oldest video entertainment sites online, showcasing funny pictures, funny videos and

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Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=833841&ca=Entertainment

Wikinews interviews U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wikinews held an exclusive interview with Cynthia McKinney, one of the candidates for the Green Party nomination for the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

McKinney is a former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and held her seat for ten years until being defeated by Denise Majette in 2002. She was the first ever African American woman from her state to be elected to Congress.

We asked her why she made the recent switch to the Green Party. She replied, “Due to the importance of environmental issues, Green issues are the issues of today. The Ten Key Values ofthe Green Party stress us getting along with each other in harmony with the planet that gives us life.”

When asked about how she would handle Iraq she replied, “I would instruct the Joint Chiefs to draw up a plan for the orderly withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the country. I would dismantle our military bases in the area, and I would also demand that U.S. andother international corporations relinquish any claims to Iraqi oil orother resources and withdraw as well.”

McKinney is running for president because, basically, she thinks that “it’s time that the people win”.