Australian health workers to close intensive care units in Victoria next week

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Members of Australia’s Health Services Union (HSU) will go on strike in Victoria next week in a dispute over stalled wage and career structure negotiations. Over 5000 physiotherapists, speech pathologists and radiation therapists will walk off the job next week, effectively closing the state’s 68 largest health services.

The strike will force the closure of intensive care units and emergency departments across the state.

It is feared the strike could continue into Easter.

National secretary of the HSU, Kathy Jackson said admissions would be crippled, while intensive care patients would have to be evacuated to New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia as hospitals will not be able to perform tests or administer treatment.

“When an ambulance shows up you can’t admit a patient without an X-ray being available, you can’t intubate them and you can’t operate on them,” she said.

“If something goes wrong in an ICU you need to be able to X-ray, use nuclear medicine or any diagnostic procedure,” said Ms Jackson.

Ms Jackson said the HSU offered arbitration last year, but the state government refused. “They’re not interested in settling disputes, they hope that we are just going to go away.”

“We’re not going away, we’ve gone back and balloted the whole public health workforce in Victoria, those ballots were successful, 97 percent approval rating,” she said.

The HSU is urging the government to commence serious negotiations to resolve the dispute before industrial action commenced.

The government has offered the union a 3.25 per cent pay increase, in line with other public sector workers but the union has demanded more, but stopped short of specifying a figure.

Victorian Premier John Brumby said the claim would be settled according to the government’s wages policy. “The Government is always willing and wanting to sit down and negotiate with the relevant organisations . . . we have a wages policy based around an increase of 3.25 per cent and, above that, productivity offset,” he told parliament.

The union claims it is also arguing against a lack of career structure, which has caused many professionals to leave the health service. Ms Jackson said wages and career structures in Victoria were behind other states.

Victorian Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said he was not in support of the proposed strike and called on the government to meet with unions. “There could not be a more serious threat to our health system than has been announced today.”

“We now have to do whatever is possible to stop this strike from proceeding,” he said.

The opposition leader will meet with the union at 11:30 AM today.

Victorian Hospitals Industry Association industrial relations services manager Simon Chant said hospitals were looking at the possible impact and warned that patients may have to be evacuated interstate if the strike goes ahead.

Florida man charged with stealing Wi-Fi

Update since publication

This article mentions that Wi-Fi stands for “Wireless Fidelity”, although this is disputed.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

A Florida man is being charged with 3rd degree felony for logging into a private Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) Internet access point without permission. Benjamin Smith III, 41, is set for a pre-trial hearing this month in the first case of its kind in the United States.

This kind of activity occurs frequently, but often goes undetected by the owners of these wireless access points (WAPs). Unauthorized users range from casual Web browsers, to users sending e-mails, to users involved in pornography or even illegal endeavours.

According to Richard Dinon, owner of the WAP Smith allegedly broke into, Smith was using a laptop in an automobile while parked outside Dinon’s residence.

There are many steps an owner of one of these access points can take to secure them from outside users. Dinon reportedly knew how to take these steps, but had not bothered because his “neighbors are older.”

Oldest ex-Major League Baseball player, Billy Werber dies at age 100

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Billy Werber, third baseman in Major League Baseball, has died at the age of 100. Werber died of natural causes on Thursday, January 22, 2009 at an assisted living center in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was moved there after his health deteriorated a month ago.

His son said that when admitted, Werber refused to eat solid foods and would only drink liquids. “He just refused to eat and that was his plan,” Bill Werber Jr. told the Associated Press. He added that his father was “sharp up until four weeks ago”.

Born William Murray Werber on June 20, 1908 in Berwyn Heights, Maryland, he played for the New York Yankees from (1930, 1933), the Boston Red Sox from (1933-1936), the Philadelphia Athletics from (1937-1938), Cincinnati Reds from (1939-1941) and the New York Giants from (1942).

In 1934, Werber became the starting third baseman of the Red Sox. He responded with a career-high .321 batting average, including 200 hits; led the American League with 40 stolen bases, and posted double digits in doubles (41), triples (10) and home runs (11). He led the league in stolen bases in 1935 (29) and 1937 (35). Boston traded him to the Philadelphia Athletics for the 1937 season, and he joined the Cincinnati Reds in 1939.

In an 11-season career, Werber was a .271 hitter with 78 home runs and 539 RBI in 1,295 games. One of the most aggressive baserunners of the 1930s, probably the most aggressive next to Ben Chapman, he stole 215 bases. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1961.

His wife Kathryn ‘Tat’ Werber died in 2000, after she and Werber had been married 70 years. Bill Werber Jr. says that his father is to be cremated and services, which will be open to the public, will be held on the weekend of January 31 through February 1.

Claddagh Rings Craftsmanship}

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Submitted by: Scott Wilhelmy

Claddagh Rings – Craftsmanship

The best Claddagh rings are made by skilled craftsmen and women right from the most famous original ring which is popularly considered to have been created by one Richard Joyce, a resident of the tiny fishing village of Claddagh, located near Galway on the Irish coastline. With today’s modern methods of production for jewelry, some would argue that craftsmanship is no longer necessary in order to sell the rings. In fact, it is because of the craftsmanship in the early rings, coupled with the symbolism that have made Claddagh rings an enduring ring for presentation to a significant person in your life.


Richard Joyce was a young man from the fishing village of Claddagh who sailed off to the West Indies in hopes of earning money so that he would be able to afford a bride. During the ocean voyage, his ship was captured and Joyce eventually was sold as a slave to a goldsmith in Algiers. The Moorish master trained the young man in his specialty as a goldsmith. Joyce evidently impressed the goldsmith greatly, because when the British monarch William III was crowned, one of the new king’s first demands was the release of British prisoners. The Moorish jeweler offered Joyce his daughter as a wife and half of his estate, but Joyce returned to Ireland with the Claddagh ring he had designed and fashioned during his captivity. He found his true love waiting for him, and they married.

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The Moorish Tie

The jeweler who taught Joyce his craft was from the city of Algiers. It is to be expected that during Joyce’s tenure in Algiers he would have picked up and incorporated some very Moorish elements in the design of his Claddagh ring. The design incorporates elements from the mid-east, northern Africa and ties them to the romantic themes of love and faithfulness, even through a long and unplanned separation. Joyce, of course fashioned the Claddagh ring with no certainty he would ever see his true love again. The young lady in question did not know of Joyce’s status, yet remained true to him.


The original Claddagh ring had three major components. It featured a bezel consisting of a pair of hands holding a heart. The whole was surmounted by a detailed crown. At the giving of the ring, the sentiment expressed is “With my hands, I give you my heart, and crown it with my love. Later variations of the Claddagh ring, known as the Fenian ring, eliminated the crown from the design and it was worn to express loyalty to a cause. This version removed the crown, lest people believe that it expressed loyal to British royalty.

Modern Usage

Today, the Claddagh ring is given to express friendship, love and loyalty the same as previously, but may have added meanings as well, such as birthstone Claddagh rings to commemorate the month of birth for the owner of the ring, or sometimes birthstones of children or grandchildren. Other versions of the ring include precious or semiprecious stones to highlight features of the ring.

About the Author: Variations of

Claddagh Rings

can be found at Irish Indeed. Visit us for

Irish Claddagh Rings



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Pair extradited and charged over Granville, Sydney shootings

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Detectives from New South Wales have successfully extradited a 30-year-old woman and 23-year-old man from Western Australia wanted in connection with a double murder in the Sydney suburb of Granville on March 29, 2006.

The victims of the murders were 26-year-old Bassam Chami, who died at the scene, and 25-year-old Ibrahim Assad, who died following surgery at Westmead Hospital.

Following the shootings, NSW Police setup a strike force, called Lasswade to investigate the murders.

The woman was arrested by detectives of the Major Crime Squad in Western Australia at 9 p.m. AEST last Tuesday. She was found and arrested at a motel in Victoria Park, Perth.

Shortly after the woman’s arrest, the man was arrested by the Tactical Response Group as he exited a unit in East Victoria Park.

On Wednesday, four members of Strike Force Lasswade flew to Perth and was successful in applying to have the pair extradited to NSW to face questioning and charges. The pair arrived in Sydney on Saturday night.

Once in NSW, police took the pair to Surry Hills police station where they were questioned and subsequently charged. The man was charged with one count of murder and another of attempted murder. The woman was charged with two counts of being an accessory to murder.

Both suspects were refused bail and are due to appear in court on Monday.

New search engine to search inside Wikipedia

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A new search engine that was announced yesterday finds articles and links within the English Wikipedia. Wikiseek, run by a California based startup company called “searchme”, is a website which aims to be “A better way to search Wikipedia.”

Although most keywords work without problems, Digg users have found search terms that the site does not recognize. If you enter “Chicago” for example, it shows no Wikipedia articles at all, and clicking “Chicago, Illinois” leads to an article on West Chicago, Illinois and other related articles to the subject. Similarly, entering “Christmas“, “United States” or “PlayStation 3” only provides links to related articles on Wikipedia, although they are in the top 10 of most viewed articles in the English Wikipedia. Searching “porn” comes up with commercial websites linked from Wikipedia, but not the relevant articles in the free encyclopedia. For most articles however, the relevant Wikipedia article is the first result or among the results.

The site says that “The contents of Wikiseek are restricted to Wikipedia pages and only those sites which are referenced within Wikipedia, making it an authoritative source of information less subject to spam and SEO schemes.” The site also offers a Toolbar plugin and a Firefox extension to add a Wikiseek search button inside of Wikipedia pages.

Danny Sullivan at the Search Engine Land blog found Wikiseek’s results inferior compared to the results from established search engines. SearchMe CEO Randy Adams stressed that Wikiseek is still in a beta phase. He pointed out that they welcome feedback more than the average search engine, which can be posted on their company wiki.

Searchme put a button on their main page, encouraging beta testers to instantly promote the site on Digg. In August 2006, Digg had half a million registered users.

Some media outlets have reported that Wikiseek was created by either the Wikimedia Foundation which runs Wikipedia, or private corporation Wikia, which hosts a collection of wiki communities. Both rumors are untrue, says Angela Beesley, co-founder of Wikia and chair of the Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Wikiseek is an independent project with no affiliation with either Wikia or the Wikimedia Foundation.”

The Wikiseek site says they contribute the majority of its revenue from advertisement to the Wikimedia Foundation’s fundraising effort.

Toronto prepares for Monday transit strike

Saturday, April 9, 2005

The Toronto Transit Commission is expected to strike Monday. The TTC workers union, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, rejected a deal offered by TTC management. They last went on strike in 1999. The average daily ridership exceeds 1.3 million passengers.

The city of Toronto has prepared to help deal with the forecasted traffic congestion by opening up free parking for car-pools at 14 city-owned community centres, banning parking on some city streets, and opening up some bus-only lanes to car-pools.

The initial deal, which was rejected, offered a 2% wage increase over five years. With a huge turnout the union-members voted against accepting the offer with a 99% majority according to a press release by the union. The union rejected the latest offer Friday reported to be a three-year contract with raises of 2.75 percent in the first year, three percent in the second and 3.25 percent in the third.

Top 7 Tips On How To Beat The Speeding Ticket

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By Sue Jan

It you have been driving for any length of time, you most certainly have come across one or more occasions where you were caught speeding. It is always an unpleasant experience to be pulled over by a police officer and to be handed a speeding ticket.

However, there are ways you could be savvier and avoid getting caught speeding:

* On a road with more than two lanes, drive in the middle lane. When you drive in the middle lane, nestled in the middle a bunch of speeding cars, you are less likely to be picked up by the radar detector and by the police officers. Instead, vehicles in front of or on the side of this speeding pack will more likely be caught for speeding. Driving in the middle lane also allows you to spot police officers easier than driving in the outside lanes

* Avoid changing lanes frequently as it tends to draw attention from the police who are on the lookout for vehicles weaving in and out of the lanes. It is best to stay in one lane and drive at around the same speed as those cars around you. It will make you less noticeable to the police and less likely to be picked up by the radar detectors.

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* Drive up behind or beside another motorist who is driving over the speed limit and then take note of his speed, After having done so, slow down and pull back a bit so that your speed is slightly slower than his. So in case the car in front suddenly brakes to avoid a speed trap, you will have enough time to slow down before the cops can record your speed, while the car in front will be more likely to be fined a speeding ticket.

However, if you still get pulled over despite the above precautions, you could still possibly wiggle your way out of a speeding ticket with just a warning from the police officer:

* Having a good attitude helps. Addressing the officer respectfully, referring to him or her as “Officer” and paying close attention to what the officer is saying will help. Furthermore, if this is your first infraction and you did not go too much over the speed limit, the police officer may be inclined to just give you a warning.

* Having a bad attitude and cursing at the police officer will only result in a hefty fine. If the officer sees that you are not taking the situation seriously, the officer is more likely to go ahead with the citation in order to teach you a lesson.

* Do not admit to the police officer that you did actually break the speed limit. Doing so would limit your option in court and leave you no room to plead not guilty in court. If you take full responsibility while the officer is writing up the speeding ticket, the officer will testify to that in court. You would have lost the case on the spot, and you would have to pay the full penalty.

If you still get a speeding ticket though, it might then be a good idea to consult with attorneys who specialize in traffic violations, or with retired police officers who provide speeding ticket consultations, as their expertise may help you take advantage of lesser known loopholes.

About the Author: For more on how to beat a Speeding Ticket visit Speeding Ticket. Susan also writes at Education and Reference.


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Western Australia apologises to abused wards-of-state

April 7, 2005

The state Premier of Western Australia (WA), Dr Geoff Gallop, gave an apology to children physically and sexually abused in institutional care within the state between the 1920s and 1970s. The statement was given in reaction to an Australian Senate inquiry into institutional child abuse published last year.

“We acknowledge our state’s history, the role played by the state in providing care for children and particularly past practices in the provision of care,” Dr Gallop told Australian Associated Press.

“We apologise to all those people who were harmed as children while in institutional care, and express deep regret at the hurt and distress caused. We recognise that the effects of physical, psychological and sexual abuse did not end when these children became adults.”

Many of the children had been placed in care by government agencies.

“Overwhelmingly, the (submissions) make tragic and distressing reading. They tell of neglect, of shocking abuse, of predatory behaviour from so-called carers and of criminal activity,” Senator McLucas told federal parliament at the time of the Forgotten Australians report, last year.

“The evidence is also there that authorities in the church and in governments either knew or should have known that much of this horrific activity was occurring.”

The inquiry found that an apology was an important symbolism in recognising past wrongs and helping victims gain closure, according to an ABC News report. And Dr Gallop said the victims’ personal histories must be heard and acknowledged in order to build a better care system for the future.

WA’s Community Development Minister, Sheila McHale, said those wishing to find out about their time in care in WA as children should contact the Department for Community Development, which is also providing counselling services to those who were abused in an institution.