Telecom New Zealand to sell Yellow Page Group

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Telecom New Zealand has announced that it is going to sell its Yellow Page Group business and is expecting at least NZ$2 billion. The Yellow Page Group includes the Yellow Pages, White Pages (which includes both offline and online services), New Zealand Retirement Guide and New Zealand Tourism Online.

However Chief Financial Officer, Mark Bogoievski, will not comment on how much the reserve price is.

The company says that the money they get from selling the directories will be used to repay almost $3.5 billion worth of debt.

Theresa Gattung, Chief Executive of Telecom, said: “There has already been considerable interest shown in the future of Yellow Pages Group based on recent media speculation. We expect that the sale should be completed by the end of this financial year.”

The Yellow Page Group generates $250 million worth of revenue per annum and employs 600 people.

Ms Gattung said: “In the long term the business will be dominated by the global players. It’s really prudent off us to take this opportunity to see what value we can get looking at the sale of this business at this stage.”

Analysts are warning Telecom that it would miss out on the digital media possibilities. “It looks to me that it is a bit of a panic reaction in order to generate some quick cash,” said, telecommunications expert, Paul Budde, “I think it’s a short-term sort of strategy to generate some cash, but it will undermine its long term strategy to move from the old Telecom’s world into the new digital media world.”

Ms Gattung said that the privacy of the individuals will be kept, “obviously we’re only going to sell to a very reputable party.”

Telecom is also hinting at cutting hundreds of jobs to invest in new technology to beat off competition.

Ex Girlfriend Has A New Boyfriend Getting Her Back}

Submitted by: Anthony Malibu

Many guys who get dumped work toward winning back the love of an ex girlfriend. But what if your ex starts dating again? Is the situation hopeless now that your exgirlfriend is dating another guy, or are there things you can do to get back together again? Find out the best ways to steal your ex girlfriend back from another man.

Nothing’s more demoralizing than finding out your ex girlfriend started dating again – especially if you were still hoping the two of you could get back together. So what happens now? Should you move on? While most guys completely give up at this point, there are actually some pretty simple ways of winning back your exgirlfriend from another guy. They require some patience and effort, but if you still believe the relationship is worth saving? The following step by step guide will help you out.

Step 1 – Let Go of Your Past Relationship

It’s the hardest thing to do, but it’s also the most important: letting go of your ex girlfriend. Especially if you were trying to get her back, it’s a difficult thing to admit that your relationship is finally over. The fact that your ex girlfriend is now dating again has nothing to do with it – you simply can’t move forward with plans to win her heart back until you’ve fully accepted the break up. The sooner you can do this, the faster you can get started on the path to reconciliation.

Fighting her on it, trying to get her to change her mind… these things are counterproductive and will always hurt your chances. Ditto for showing up at her doorstep and trying to convince her not to date this new guy. Anything and everything you do to stop or challenge your ex at this point will be taken as desperate and needy. Don’t show those colors – stand strong and keep your cool. Getting back your ex girlfriend requires you to show very opposite traits: strength and confidence.

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Step 2 – Remove Yourself From The Equation

It’s actually the second most difficult thing for men to do: not contact your ex girlfriend. Dropping out of your ex’s sight for a while is the best possible course of action right now, and this includes all forms of communication. Aside from eliminating ex girlfriend phone calls, you can’t email your ex, text-message her, write on her Facebook wall… none of those things. If it’s easier for you, turn your phone and computer off for a while. Detaching yourself from the current situation will keep you from having to watch your exgirlfriend date this new guy, and it will dull the pain of separation. By not talking to her at all you’re also putting yourself back in your ex’s head by giving her the chance to miss you.

Step 3 – You, You, and More You

During the honeymoon stages of your exgirlfriend’s new romance, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. So while you’re NOT doing anything, it’s time to start doing something:

focus entirely on yourself

. This means improving your physical appearance, but it also means sharpening yourself mentally too. Start by going to the gym, hitting the treadmill, and sweating off any extra pounds while allowing the despair and hopelessness of the situation to drain from your mind. Exercise is some of the best medicine on the planet, and is good for your mind and body. As you begin to forget about your ex, replace those thoughts with positive energy.

And when you feel slim, fit, tan, and all those other good things? Hit the mall and pick up some new clothing. Dressing well will make you feel even better, which will boost your confidence and self-esteem. The positive changes you’re making in yourself will create an instant attraction the next time your ex girlfriend sees you, and you should keep your eye on that ultimate goal. On top of that, becoming a more positive person will attract others to you… you’ll meet new people, do new things, and enjoy a much happier life if you can let go of the anger, resentment, bitterness, and any other negative emotions you may still have toward the fact that your ex has apparently moved on.

Step 4 – Wait Out The Beginning Of Her Rebound Relationship

Like any romance, the beginning of your ex’s new relationship will be fun and happy. She’ll be excited about her new man, and forget all about you – temporarily, of course. During this time there’s nothing you can do to change things, so don’t even try. This is when you’ll be concentrating on yourself, and trying not to notice what’s going on with your ex.

The good news however, is that most rebound relationship fail within the first two months. As your ex’s new relationship begins to unravel, she’s on the downward swing of things. And you? You’re on the upward swing… and in perfect position to catch her as she’s falling.

And just as the odds say that her rebound relationship will end soon, they also dictate that she’ll probably be on the receiving end of the break up. When her new fling dumps her, that’s when your ex girlfriend will be most vulnerable. She’ll be looking for comfort, companionship, and someone familiar to help her through it. As her loving exboyfriend, you can provide all three of those things. Once she’s back in her arms, your ex will feel incredibly lucky that you’re still around… especially after she sees the new you. All of the feelings she tried to bury when she first began dating her new boyfriend will come right back to the surface. Time it right, and you’ll look like a superhero. You’ll pick her up and help her through this difficult time, all the while reminding her of the awesome memories the two of you used to share.

Step 5 – What To Do If Your Ex’s Relationship Continues On

It’s rare, but every once in a while a rebound relationship will stick. If this happens, you’ll need to employ alternative tactics to win back your ex girlfriend. The fact that your ex has a new boyfriend changes a few of the more common methods and techniques used to win back her heart, and you may need to learn some unorthodox moves. Some of these include subtly inserting yourself into a position between your ex and her new boyfriend, reestablishing a neutral trust, and using the past as a tool to pry your way back into her thoughts. Making that initial connection is tricky, so learn the right (and wrong) ways to do it. You need to accomplish a lot of things in a short period of time, so the sooner you get started the better.

About the Author: These are just some of the opening moves you’ll need to learn when your ex girlfriend has a new boyfriend. To find out what to do next, be sure to check out

Get Back Your Ex Girlfriend

when she’s already dating someone else!

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1291241&ca=Break-up }

ACLU, EFF challenging US ‘secret’ court orders seeking Twitter data

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Late last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed objections to the United States Government’s ‘secret’ attempts to obtain Twitter account information relating to WikiLeaks. The ACLU and EFF cite First and Fourth amendment issues as overriding reasons to overturn government attempts to keep their investigation secret; and, that with Birgitta Jonsdottir being an Icelandic Parliamentarian, the issue has serious international implications.

The case, titled “In the Matter of the 2703(d) Order Relating to Twitter Accounts: Wikileaks, Rop_G, IOERROR; and BirgittaJ“, has been in the EFF’s sights since late last year when they became aware of the US government’s attempts to investigate WikiLeaks-related communications using the popular microblogging service.

The key objective of this US government investigation is to obtain data for the prosecution of Bradley Manning, alleged to have supplied classified data to WikiLeaks. In addition to Manning’s Twitter account, and that of WikiLeaks (@wikileaks), the following three accounts are subject to the order: @ioerror, @birgittaj, and @rop_g. These, respectively, belong to Jacob Apelbaum, Birgitta Jonsdottir, and Rop Gonggrijp.

Birgitta is not the only non-US citizen with their Twitter account targeted by the US Government; Gonggrijp, a Dutch ‘ex-hacker’-turned-security-expert, was one of the founders of XS4ALL – the first Internet Service Provider in the Netherlands available to the public. He has worked on a mobile phone that can encrypt conversations, and proven that electronic voting systems can readily be hacked.

In early March, a Virginia magistrate judge ruled that the government could have the sought records, and neither the targeted users, or the public, could see documents submitted to justify data being passed to the government. The data sought is as follows:

  1. Personal contact information, including addresses
  2. Financial data, including credit card or bank account numbers
  3. Twitter account activity information, including the “date, time, length, and method of connections” plus the “source and destination Internet Protocol address(es)”
  4. Direct Message (DM) information, including the email addresses and IP addresses of everyone with whom the Parties have exchanged DMs

The order demands disclosure of absolutely all such data from November 1, 2009 for the targeted accounts.

The ACLU and EFF are not only challenging this, but demanding that all submissions made by the US government to justify the Twitter disclosure are made public, plus details of any other such cases which have been processed in secret.

Bradley Manning, at the time a specialist from Maryland enlisted with the United States Army’s 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, was arrested in June last year in connection with the leaking of classified combat video to WikiLeaks.

The leaked video footage, taken from a US helicopter gunship, showed the deaths of Reuters staff Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen during a U.S. assault in Baghdad, Iraq. The wire agency unsuccessfully attempted to get the footage released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 2007.

When WikiLeaks released the video footage it directly contradicted the official line taken by the U.S. Army asserting that the deaths of the two Reuters staff were “collateral damage” in an attack on Iraqi insurgents. The radio chatter associated with the AH-64 Apache video indicated the helicopter crews had mistakenly identified the journalists’ equipment as weaponry.

The US government also claims Manning is linked to CableGate; the passing of around a quarter of a million classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Manning has been in detention since July last year; in December allegations of torture were made to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the conditions under which he was and is being detained.

Reports last month that he must now sleep naked and attend role call at the U.S. Marine facility in Quantico in the same state, raised further concern over his detention conditions. Philip J. Crowley, at-the-time a State Department spokesman, remarked on this whilst speaking at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; describing the current treatment of Manning as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid”, Crowley was, as a consequence, put in the position of having to tender his resignation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Despite his native Australia finding, in December last year, that Assange’s WikiLeaks had not committed any criminal offences in their jurisdiction, the U.S. government has continued to make ongoing operations very difficult for the whistleblower website.

The result of the Australian Federal Police investigation left the country’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, having to retract a statement that WikiLeaks had acted “illegally”; instead, she characterised the site’s actions as “grossly irresponsible”.

Even with Australia finding no illegal activity on the part of WikiLeaks, and with founder Julian Assange facing extradition to Sweden, U.S. pressure sought to hobble WikiLeaks financially.

Based on a State Department letter, online payments site PayPal suspended WikiLeaks account in December. Their action was swiftly followed by Visa Europe and Mastercard ceasing to handle payments for WikiLeaks.

The online processing company, Datacell, threatened the two credit card giants with legal action over this. However, avenues of funding for the site were further curtailed when both Amazon.com and Swiss bank PostFinance joined the financial boycott of WikiLeaks.

Assange continues, to this day, to argue that his extradition to Sweden for questioning on alleged sexual offences is being orchestrated by the U.S. in an effort to discredit him, and thus WikiLeaks.

Wikinews consulted an IT and cryptography expert from the Belgian university which developed the current Advanced Encryption Standard; explaining modern communications, he stated: “Cryptography has developed to such a level that intercepting communications is no longer cost effective. That is, if any user uses the correct default settings, and makes sure that he/she is really connecting to Twitter it is highly unlikely that even the NSA can break the cryptography for a protocol such as SSL/TLS (used for https).”

Qualifying this, he commented that “the vulnerable parts of the communication are the end points.” To make his point, he cited the following quote from Gene Spafford: “Using encryption on the Internet is the equivalent of arranging an armored car to deliver credit card information from someone living in a cardboard box to someone living on a park bench.

Continuing, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) expert explained:

In the first place, the weak point is Twitter itself; the US government can go and ask for the data; companies such as Twitter and Google will typically store quite some information on their users, including IP addresses (it is known that Google deletes the last byte of the IP address after a few weeks, but it is not too hard for a motivated opponent to find out what this byte was).
In the second place, this is the computer of the user: by exploiting system weaknesses (with viruses, Trojan horses or backdoors in the operating system) a highly motivated opponent can enter your machine and record your keystrokes plus everything that is happening (e.g. the FBI is known to do this with the so-called Magic Lantern software). Such software is also commercially available, e.g. for a company to monitor its employees.
It would also be possible for a higly motivated opponent to play “man-in-the-middle”; that means that instead of having a secure connection to Twitter.com, you have a secure connection to the attacker’s server, who impersonates Twitter’s and then relays your information to Twitter. This requires tricks such as spoofing DNS (this is getting harder with DNSsec), or misleading the user (e.g. the user clicks on a link and connects to tw!tter.com or Twitter.c0m, which look very similar in a URL window as Twitter.com). It is clear that the US government is capable of using these kind of tricks; e.g., a company has been linked to the US government that was recognized as legitimate signer in the major browsers, so it would not be too large for them to sign a legitimate certificate for such a spoofing webserver; this means that the probability that a user would detect a problem would be very low.
As for traffic analysis (finding out who you are talking to rather than finding out what you are telling to whom), NSA and GCHQ are known to have access to lots of traffic (part of this is obtained via the UK-USA agreement). Even if one uses strong encryption, it is feasible for them to log the IP addresses and email addresses of all the parties you are connecting to. If necessary, they can even make routers re-route your traffic to their servers. In addition, the European Data Retention directive forces all operators to store such traffic data.
Whether other companies would have complied with such requests: this is very hard to tell. I believe however that it is very plausible that companies such as Google, Skype or Facebook would comply with such requests if they came from a government.
In summary: unless you go through great lengths to log through to several computers in multiple countries, you work in a clean virtual machine, you use private browser settings (don’t accept cookies, no plugins for Firefox, etc.) and use tools such as Tor, it is rather easy for any service provider to identify you.
Finally: I prefer not to be quoted on any sentences in which I make statements on the capabilities or actions of any particular government.

Wikinews also consulted French IT security researcher Stevens Le Blond on the issues surrounding the case, and the state-of-the-art in monitoring, and analysing, communications online. Le Blond, currently presenting a research paper on attacks on Tor to USENIX audiences in North America, responded via email:

Were the US Government to obtain the sought data, it would seem reasonable the NSA would handle further investigation. How would you expect them to exploit the data and expand on what they receive from Twitter?

  • Le Blond: My understanding is that the DOJ is requesting the following information: 1) Connection records and session times 2) IP addresses 3) e-mail addresses 4) banking info
By requesting 1) and 2) for Birgitta and other people involved with WikiLeaks (WL) since 2009, one could derive 2 main [pieces of] information.
First, he could tell the mobility of these people. Recent research in networking shows that you can map an IP address into a geographic location with a median error of 600 meters. So by looking at changes of IP addresses in time for a Twitter user, one could tell (or at least speculate about) where that person has been.
Second, by correlating locations of different people involved with WL in time, one could possibly derive their interactions and maybe even their level of involvement with WL. Whether it is possible to derive this information from 1) and 2) depends on how this people use Twitter. For example, do they log on Twitter often enough, long enough, and from enough places?
My research indicates that this is the case for other Internet services but I cannot tell whether it is the case for Twitter.
Note that even though IP logging, as done by Twitter, is similar to the logging done by GSM [mobile phone] operators, the major difference seems to be that Twitter is subject to US regulation, no matter the citizenship of its users. I find this rather disturbing.
Using 3), one could search for Birgitta on other Internet services, such as social networks, to find more information on her (e.g., hidden accounts). Recent research on privacy shows that people tend to use the same e-mail address to register an account on different social networks (even when they don’t want these accounts to be linked together). Obviously, one could then issue subpoenas for these accounts as well.
I do not have the expertise to comment on what could be done with 4).
((WN)) As I believe Jonsdottir to be involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), what are the wider implications beyond the “WikiLeaks witchhunt”?
  • Le Blond: Personal data can be used to discredit, especially if the data is not public.

Having been alerted to the ongoing case through a joint press release by the ACLU and EFF, Wikinews sought clarification on the primary issues which the two non-profits saw as particularly important in challenging the U.S. Government over the ‘secret’ court orders. Rebecca Jeschke, Media Relations Director for the EFF, explained in more detail the points crucial to them, responding to a few questions from Wikinews on the case:

((WN)) As a worse-case, what precedents would be considered if this went to the Supreme Court?
  • Rebecca Jeschke: It’s extremely hard to know at this stage if this would go to the Supreme Court, and if it did, what would be at issue. However, some of the interesting questions about this case center on the rights of people around the world when they use US Internet services. This case questions the limits of US law enforcement, which may turn out to be very different from the limits in other countries.
((WN)) Since this is clearly a politicised attack on free speech with most chilling potential repercussions for the press, whistleblowers, and by-and-large anyone the relevant U.S. Government departments objects to the actions of, what action do you believe should be taken to protect free speech rights?
  • Jeschke: We believe that, except in very rare circumstances, the government should not be permitted to obtain information about individuals’ private Internet communications in secret. We also believe that Internet companies should, whenever possible, take steps to ensure their customers are notified about requests for information and have the opportunity to respond.
((WN)) Twitter via the web, in my experience, tends to use https:// connections. Are you aware of any possibility of the government cracking such connections? (I’m not up to date on the crypto arms race).
  • Jeschke: You don’t need to crack https, per se, to compromise its security. See this piece about fraudulent https certificates:
Iranian hackers obtain fraudulent httpsEFF website.
((WN)) And, do you believe that far, far more websites should – by default – employ https:// connections to protect people’s privacy?
  • Jeschke: We absolutely think that more websites should employ https! Here is a guide for site operators: (See external links, Ed.)

Finally, Wikinews approached the Icelandic politician, and WikiLeaks supporter, who has made this specific case a landmark in how the U.S. Government handles dealings with – supposedly – friendly governments and their elected representatives. A number of questions were posed, seeking the Icelandic Parliamentarian’s views:

((WN)) How did you feel when you were notified the US Government wanted your Twitter account, and message, details? Were you shocked?
  • Birgitta Jonsdottir: I felt angry but not shocked. I was expecting something like this to happen because of my involvement with WikiLeaks. My first reaction was to tweet about it.
((WN)) What do you believe is their reasoning in selecting you as a ‘target’?
  • Jonsdottir: It is quite clear to me that USA authorities are after Julian Assange and will use any means possible to get even with him. I think I am simply a pawn in a much larger context. I did of course both act as a spokesperson for WikiLeaks in relation to the Apache video and briefly for WikiLeaks, and I put my name to the video as a co-producer. I have not participated in any illegal activity and thus being a target doesn’t make me lose any sleep.
((WN)) Are you concerned that, as a Member of Parliament involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), the US attempt to obtain your Twitter data is interfering with planned Icelandic government policy?
  • Jonsdottir: No
((WN)) In an earlier New York Times (NYT) article, you’re indicating there is nothing they can obtain about you that bothers you; but, how do you react to them wanting to know everyone you talk to?
  • Jonsdottir: It bothers me and according to top computer scientists the government should be required to obtain a search warrant to get our IP addresses from Twitter. I am, though, happy I am among the people DOJ is casting their nets around because of my parliamentary immunity; I have a greater protection then many other users and can use that immunity to raise the issue of lack of rights for those that use social media.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Do you believe the U.S. government should have the right to access data on foreign nationals using services such as Twitter?
Add or view comments
((WN)) The same NYT article describes you as a WikiLeaks supporter; is this still the case? What attracts you to their ‘radical transparency’?
  • Jonsdottir: I support the concept of WikiLeaks. While we don’t have a culture of protection for sources and whistleblowers we need sites like WikiLeaks. Plus, I think it is important to give WikiLeaks credit for raising awareness about in how bad shape freedom of information and expression is in our world and it is eroding at an alarming rate because of the fact that legal firms for corporations and corrupt politicians have understood the borderless nature of the legalities of the information flow online – we who feel it is important that people have access to information that should remain in the public domain need to step up our fight for those rights. WikiLeaks has played an important role in that context.I don’t support radical transparency – I understand that some things need to remain secret. It is the process of making things secret that needs to be both more transparent and in better consensus with nations.
((WN)) How do you think the Icelandic government would have reacted if it were tens of thousands of their diplomatic communications being leaked?
  • Jonsdottir: I am not sure – A lot of our dirty laundry has been aired via the USA cables – our diplomatic communications with USA were leaked in those cables, so far they have not stirred much debate nor shock. It is unlikely for tens of thousands of cables to leak from Iceland since we dont have the same influence or size as the USA, nor do we have a military.
((WN)) Your ambassador in the US has spoken to the Obama administration. Can you discuss any feedback from that? Do you have your party’s, and government’s, backing in challenging the ordered Twitter data release?
  • Jonsdottir: I have not had any feedback from that meeting, I did however receive a message from the DOJ via the USA ambassador in Iceland. The message stated three things: 1. I am free to travel to the USA. 2. If I would do so, I would not be a subject of involuntary interrogation. 3. I am not under criminal investigation. If this is indeed the reality I wonder why they are insisting on getting my personal details from Twitter. I want to stress that I understand the reasoning of trying to get to Assange through me, but I find it unacceptable since there is no foundation for criminal investigation against him. If WikiLeaks goes down, all the other media partners should go down at the same time. They all served similar roles. The way I see it is that WikiLeaks acted as the senior editor of material leaked to them. They could not by any means be considered a source. The source is the person that leaks the material to WikiLeaks. I am not sure if the media in our world understands how much is at stake for already shaky industry if WikiLeaks will carry on carrying the brunt of the attacks. I think it would be powerful if all the medias that have had access to WikiLeaks material would band together for their defence.
((WN)) Wikinews consulted a Belgian IT security expert who said it was most likely companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, would have complied with similar court orders *without advising the ‘targets*’. Does that disturb you?
  • Jonsdottir: This does disturb me for various reasons. The most obvious is that my emails are hosted at google/gmail and my search profile. I dont have anything to hide but it is important to note that many of the people that interact with me as a MP via both facebook and my various email accounts don’t always realize that there is no protection for them if they do so via those channels. I often get sensitive personal letters sent to me at facebook and gmail. In general most people are not aware of how little rights they have as users of social media. It is those of uttermost importance that those sites will create the legal disclaimers and agreements that state the most obvious rights we lose when we sign up to their services.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
((WN)) Has there been any backlash within Iceland against US-based internet services in light of this? Do you expect such, or any increase in anti-American sentiments?
  • Jonsdottir: No, none what so ever. I dont think there is much anti-American sentiments in Iceland and I dont think this case will increase it. However I think it is important for everyone who does not live in the USA and uses social services to note that according to the ruling in my case, they dont have any protection of the 1st and 4th amendment, that only apply to USA citizens. Perhaps the legalities in relation to the borderless reality we live in online need to be upgraded in order for people to feel safe with using social media if it is hosted in the USA. Market tends to bend to simple rules.
((WN)) Does this make you more, or less, determined to see the IMMI succeed?
  • Jonsdottir: More. People have to realize that if we dont have freedom of information online we won’t have it offline. We have to wake up to the fact that our rights to access information that should be in the public domain is eroding while at the same time our rights as citizens online have now been undermined and we are only seen as consumers with consumers rights and in some cases our rights are less than of a product. This development needs to change and change fast before it is too late.

The U.S. Government continues to have issues internationally as a result of material passed to WikiLeaks, and subsequently published.

Within the past week, Ecuador has effectively declared the U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges persona-non-grata over corruption allegations brought to light in leaked cables. Asking the veteran diplomat to leave “as soon as possible”, the country may become the third in South America with no ambassadorial presence. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have no resident U.S. ambassador due to the two left-wing administrations believing the ejected diplomats were working with the opposition.

The U.S. State Department has cautioned Ecuador that a failure to speedily normalise diplomatic relations may jeapordise ongoing trade talks.

The United Kingdom is expected to press the Obama administration over the continuing detention of 23-year-old Manning, who also holds UK citizenship. British lawmakers are to discuss his ongoing detention conditions before again approaching the U.S. with their concerns that his solitary confinement, and treatment therein, is not acceptable.

The 22 charges brought against Manning are currently on hold whilst his fitness to stand trial is assessed.

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.

Poland: 27-year-old arrested in Stalowa Wola for stabbing eight people

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Yesterday, a 27-year-old Polish man was detained by the police in Stalowa Wola for stabbing at least eight people in VIVA shopping centre in south-eastern Poland.

The eight people were hospitalized, at facilities in Stalowa Wola, Tarnobrzeg, and Sandomierz. Speaking to PAP news, police regional spokesperson Anna Klee said a 50-year-old woman died in hospital. Klee said, “He was attacking people from behind, hitting them with the knife”.

Local police spokesperson Andrzej Wierszyna said the attack took place at the mall. In the official statement, police were notified about the incident at 3PM local time. The attacker was reportedly stopped by a gallery costumer. The accused was tested for alcohol, but the result was negative.

The attacker was reported locally as “Konrad K.” Mariusz Ciarka, a National Police spokesperson, said they were testing suspect’s blood further, after the negative alcohol test, as they “could not explain the motives for his actions”.

[edit]

Hydrogen fuel cell cars promoted in various states, but U.S. federal funding cut

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

American Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is cutting US$100 million dollars from hydrogen fuel cell vehicle research and diverting the remaining $69 million to hydrogen fuel cell research for household current.

Former president George W. Bush advocated the zero-emission vehicles and launched $1.2 billion for hydrogen fuel cell research over a number of years.

President Barack Obama is proposing a “corporate average fuel economy,” or CAFÉ, placing standards for gas mileage at 39 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks at 30 mpg.

“The probability of deploying hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles in the next 10 to 20 years is low.” said Tom Welch of the U.S. Department of Energy. “We asked ourselves, ‘Is it likely in the next 10 or 15, 20 years that we will convert to a hydrogen car economy?’ The answer, we felt, was ‘no,'” said Chu.

In response, the U.S. Fuel Cell Council and the National Hydrogen Association said, “The cuts proposed in the DOE hydrogen and fuel-cell program threaten to disrupt commercialization of a family of technologies that are showing exceptional promise and beginning to gain market traction. Fuel-cell vehicles are not a science experiment. These are real vehicles with real marketability and real benefits. Hundreds of fuel-cell vehicles have collectively logged millions of miles.”

“I just got the Clarity, which is a wonderful hydrogen vehicle,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He lent his car to The Hydrogen Road Tour.

On Tuesday, The Hydrogen Road Tour began in Chula Vista, California. Twelve hydrogen fuel cell cars by seven auto makers will arrive in Vancouver, British Columbia June 3 for the Hydrogen + Fuel Cells 2009 conference, a global hydrogen and fuel cell event. “The point really is to raise awareness about fuel celled vehicles and hydrogen, their benefits both to energy efficiency and the environment as well as to consumers because we really believe these vehicles are going to be a market winner,” said Catherine Dunwoody, the Executive Director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership.

The Hydrogen Fuel Cells 2009 conference began June 1. “Our global environmental challenges, such as climate change, do not stop at the border,” ” said John Tak, conference Chair, “I am pleased that scientists, engineers, government representatives and businesspeople from more than 35 countries are coming to Vancouver, an active hub for hydrogen and fuel cell development, to help create solutions to these challenges.”

The Ohio Fuel Cell Symposium was held in North Canton, Ohio on Wednesday and Thursday. “The hydrogen and fuel cell industries are at a stage where they have the momentum and energy to accomplish some truly revolutionary things in terms of how they apply their technologies,” said William Whittenberger, president of Catacel Corp. These fuel cells produce electricity and exhaust carbon dioxide and water.

A hydrogen powered municipal street cleaning vehicle is currently being tested for the next year and half in Basel, Switzerland. “Our aim is to take fuel cell technology from the laboratory onto the street,” said Empa’s Internal Combustion Engines Laboratory Project Leader Christian Bach.

Dan Lutz, the fleet manager for the Beloit, Wisconsin public works department, experimented with retro-fitting his personal truck. The department now has a large pickup truck, a garbage truck, a recycling truck, a police squad car and a small pickup truck using hydrogen technology increasing gas mileage from 14 to 22 and 31 mpg. “We know the basic technology works, but the issue is, is it practical,” said City Manager Larry Arft, “Can it be used realistically?”

The drawback is that the technology may rely on platinum, a rare metal, or palladium. Infrastructure would need to be changed to supply hydrogen fueling stations. Critics are also concerned about hydrogen fuel storage and the costs of retro-fitting existing vehicles.

EPA proposes using Clean Air Act to fight global warming

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Washington, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency may have a new tool in its arsenal to fight global warming. The agency has submitted a proposal to the Obama administration which aims to list carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses as pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

The policy had previously been proposed to and rejected by the Bush administration, which said it was the wrong tool to be using. The proposal lists the negative effects of global warming, including longer and hotter heat waves, increased flooding, and the increased spread of diseases due to warmer weather.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson has previously suggested declaring global warming a health threat, and that the agency could use the 1970 Clean Air Act to use to combat it.

Environmental groups applauded the finding, with the director of Clean Air Watch, Frank O’Donnell, calling it “a green-letter day for the environment.”

One of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice presidents, William L. Kovacs, said if the the proposal is put into effect that it “will be devastating to the economy.”

It is unclear whether the Obama administration will go along with the proposal. White House spokesman Ben LaBolt commented that “The president has made clear that to combat climate change, his strong preference is for Congress to pass energy security legislation that includes a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.” No specific timeline has been given for when a decision would be made.

An upcoming conference in Copenhagen, Denmark will focus on drawing up a new international global warming treaty, which the United States plans to attend, a clear reversal from the Bush administration’s non-participation in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

UN Secretary-General expresses concern about crises in Chad, Kenya, Sudan

Thursday, February 7, 2008

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern about crises in Chad, Kenya, and the Sudan. The U.N. chief is recently back from Africa where he attended the African Union summit in Ethiopia and met with leaders in Kenya.

On rebel efforts to overthrow the government in Chad in recent days, the secretary-general welcomed an African Union initiative to have the leaders of Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo mediate the crisis. He says the United Nations will do its utmost to help resolve the crisis, urging the Security Council to act swiftly to help bring an end to the violence.

“It has devastating consequences not only for the people of Chad and Darfurian refugees seeking shelter there, but also for Darfur itself,” said Ban.

Mr. Ban told reporters the situation in the neighboring Darfur region of Sudan is no less troubling. He says the deployment of the AU-U.N. peacekeeping force, known as UNAMID, must be sped up and urged member states to properly equip the troops.

“UNAMID still lacks required aviation and ground transportation – chiefly helicopters. Additional troops will not make up for this shortfall,” said Ban. “Those countries that called for intervention in Darfur are under special obligation to deliver on their promises.”

While at the AU summit, Mr. Ban says he discussed some of the outstanding issues affecting the deployment with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and he expects the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to be signed this week. But Mr. Ban remained vague on whether some of the agreement’s sticking points – such as night flights, land agreements, and advance notice of U.N. movements – had been settled.

On Kenya, Mr. Ban says he has been deeply engaged in the post-election crisis and told political leaders during his visit there that they bear particular responsibility for the future of Kenya.

“I stressed to all the Kenyan leaders the need to stop the unacceptable violence and killings, and to resolve their differences through dialogue and democratic process. I also appealed to all the political leaders to think beyond their individual interests or party lines and to look to the future of Kenya as one country,” he said.

Mr. Ban also met in Nairobi with his U.N. predecessor, Kofi Annan, who is leading the panel of eminent Africans trying to mediate the crisis, and said they discussed his roadmap for the talks.

Security of U.N. personnel in Africa and elsewhere has been high on the secretary-general’s agenda, especially in the wake of the December bombing in Algeria that killed 17 staff members. Mr. Ban announced that he is naming diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi to chair an independent panel on safety and security of U.N. personnel and premises. Brahimi is an Algerian, but Mr. Ban says he has no concerns about his fairness or objectivity in heading up the panel.

Prosecutors drop assault case against former US VP Gore

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Former United States vice president Al Gore will not be facing assault charges due to allegations made by a masseuse in 2006, according to the Portland, Oregon district attorney’s office.

Molly Hagerty, 54, claimed Gore “sexually assault[ed] me in his [hotel] room.” Hagerty was called to Gore’s Portland hotel room to give him a massage. Hagerty said Gore pinned her down and “he kept trying to have sex with [her].”

Prosecutors closed the case, but after tabloid National Inquirer interviewed Hagerty they reopened the case. Hagerty refused to take a polygraph test.

Deputy DA Don Rees said there is “contradictory evidence, conflicting witness statements, credibility issues, lack of forensic evidence, and denials by Mr. Gore.”

Rees continued saying Hagerty and her attorneys were uncooperative in the investigation.