California teen becomes youngest to conquer Everest

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jordan Romero, a thirteen-year-old alpinist from Big Bear Lake, California, is the youngest person to have summited Mount Everest, according to reports circulated by the Associated Press quoting a spokesman based in the United States. The expedition included the boy’s father, stepmother, and three Sherpa guides.

Romero ascended 8,850 metres (29,035 feet) breaking the record for the youngest climber on Everest previously set by 16 year old Temba Tsheri from Nepal. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do before I die — I just happen to be doing it at this age. I happen to be going for a world record. But I just want to climb it,” Jordan told AFP reporters before embarking on the trek. On the same day, mountaineer Apa Sherpa, from Nepal, scaled Everest for the 20th time breaking a personal record.

It is anticipated that additional information will become available once the summit team returns to camp on the Tibet side of the mountain.

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U.S. drones enter Libya conflict

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The first attacks carried out by United States Predator drones in Libya reportedly occurred today, as the Pentagon confirmed a strike carried out by the U.S. Air Force but declined to give further details.

According to Pentagon spokesperson Darryn James, a captain in the U.S. Navy, the attack happened sometime Saturday, but withheld other information. According to the Pentagon, “common practice” regarding drone operations is to provide no more information than to confirm an attack. NATO later revealed the target was a multiple rocket launcher in the Misrata area. A statement from NATO said that, “[t]he MRL system had been used against civilians in Misrata.”

Robert Gates, the US Defense secretary, announced Thursday that President Barack Obama had given permission for drones to be used in the conflict due to their “unique capabilities.” Previously, drones had been used only in a surveillance role.

General James Cartwright, an official with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that drones have an “ability to get down lower and therefore, to be able to get better visibility, particularly on targets that have started to dig themselves into defensive positions,” a benefit in Libya, where pro-Gaddafi forces are increasingly taking cover near civilian populations. Drones are able to make more precise attacks, which lowers the risk of civilian casualties in such areas.

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Category:July 15, 2010

? July 14, 2010
July 16, 2010 ?
July 15

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Apache pipeline fire – Varanus Island, Western Australia

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A pipeline rupture and fire at Apache Corporation‘s Varanus Island facility in Western Australia has reduced the supply of natural gas to Western Australia by 30%. 153 employees have been evacuated and 13 employees remain on the island to monitor the situation.

Steven Farris, Apache’s president and CEO said “No one was injured, all personnel are safe, and the rupture and fire appear to be contained on the island…At this time, we cannot estimate when throughput will be resumed.” The facility was producing approximately 330 million cubic feet(MMcf) of natural gas and 8,000 barrels of crude oil per day, this has been reduced to 200 MMcf and 5,000 barrels per day.

Western Australian Minister for Energy Fran Logan said that residential supplies were unlikely to be affected but has called on Western Australians to conserve the use of natural gas. Minister Logan said that Apache supplies primarily large volume users like Alinta Gas and Alcoa, and the major industrial users will be hit the hardest. The aluminum refineries owned by Alcoa, which are dependent on natural gas, have switched to diesel to maintain production.

Apache representatives, including its managing director Tim Wall and fire experts from Singapore, are heading to the site to extinguish the fire and assess the damage. Wall said during a news conference in Perth today that a small fire on a vent had already been extinguished. Apache has invoked a clause in its supply contracts to remove liability for unavoidable catastrophes that prevent them from fulfilling obligations under the contract.

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Google creates new desktop software

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Recently, Google had released Google Desktop 2 (beta), software that aims to provide information on a side-bar that sticks to the right end of your screen. Content on Google Desktop include e-mail searching, news and weather, subscribing to RSS-syndicated websites, and more features.

One particular feature of Google Desktop is how it sends anonymous information of your computer use to Google (at option) in order to help choose RSS feeds and the like for you. This is much akin to how spyware works, however, said features can be disabled rather simply. Along the same lines are the ability to automatically find Weather and Stocks you would like at the first time you open it. This is a Beta so there are a few kinks in this system that can be expected to be sorted out at the full release.

Google Desktop replaces the “Gmail Notifier“, so you can check your gmail emails directly from the Sidebar. In addition to the Gmail mail checker, if you have Outlook, Outlook Express or Thunderbird email clients on your computer then it will check the email accounts in them. All this is automatic, so you get all these emails. Emails can be hidden by using filters.

The program is a 1.3MB download and requires Windows 2000 or Windows XP. It automatically starts up when you load your computer.

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Category:July 14, 2010

? July 13, 2010
July 15, 2010 ?
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Anti-ACTA activists protest across Europe

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Guy Fawkes masks were on display in cities across Europe yesterday as part of a protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an international trade agreement on copyright and intellectual property that opponents believe will limit free speech online.

Organisers of the protest said about 100,000 people turned up in German cities such as Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Hanover. In Berlin, police estimated 6,500 protestors. Protests also took place in Paris, Sofia in Bulgaria, Vilnius in Lithuania, Valetta in Malta, Tallinn in Estonia, and Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. In London, about 200 people protested outside some major copyright holders’ offices. Last month, there were major protests in Poland when that country signed ACTA, which has led to the Polish government deciding not to ratify the agreement, for now. Latvia and Slovakia have both delayed the process of joining ACTA.

Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group, a UK digital civil liberties campaigning group, said ACTA was “undemocratic”, “lacked scrutiny”, and was “setting up dangerous new pressures to censor the internet”.

The United Kingdom have signed ACTA, along with 21 other EU countries. Germany and the Czech Republic have held out on agreeing to it, awaiting a debate on the matter in the European Parliament in June. Baroness Wilcox, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, claims signing the treaty was important to help bring about “common enforcement standards and more effective international cooperation” in intellectual property law.

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First Active offer 100% mortgages in Ireland

Thursday, July 14, 2005

First Active has become the first financial institution to offer 100% mortgages in the Republic of Ireland. The bank previously offered 100% financing to professionals in finance and medicine, but is now to offer this product to anyone who can afford to meet the repayments.

The development is a huge boost for first time home buyers who have been struggling to get on the Irish property market in recent years due to the rapid increase in house prices. A typical first time buyer in Dublin with 92% financing would normally have to put down a deposit of €20,000-€30,000 in cash, but now have the option to produce no deposit.

First Active has said that 100% mortgages will be available across its entire range of mortgage products.

Note however that this is not necessarily an entirely positive development.

The United States and most of Europe have experienced a housing price bubble in recent years. A bubble occurs when buyers purchase a property not because its price is appropriate for its actual value but because they expect the price to significantly rise in the short term permitting resale with a profit.

In other words, the prices people pay for properties becomes divorced from the real value of the property; the purchase is speculative and depends purely upon the expectation that people will continue to buy properties in this way (e.g. without proper consideration of their real value).

The terrible weakness in this is that when the market corrects itself and prices fall to a level where properties are being priced at their actual realistic value, anyone holding a property loses a great deal of money, since the price they paid does not reflect the actual realistic value of the property.

This kind of shock to the housing market is extremely undesirable. Significant write downs in the value of property often significantly depress the economy as a whole.

Less than 100% mortgages force buyers to invest a significant amount of money in the act of purchasing their house, which tends to discourage purely speculative purchasing, thus helping to mediate house price bubbles.

With 100% financing, anyone who can meet repayments can speculatively purchase a property. This naturally encourages pricing bubbles.

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Wikinews interviews Mark Bunker, producer of anti-Scientology website ‘XenuTV’

Monday, February 18, 2008

Television producer and owner of the anti-Scientology website (XenuTV), Mark Bunker, also known as Wise Beard Man, chatted online with Wikinews for nearly three hours. More than 120 people followed the interview live (many from Project Chanology), which makes this exclusive Wikinews interview our most attended IRC interview to date.

Bunker started XenuTV in 1999 and began to make videos that he provided for the Lisa McPherson Trust. Bunker has been a critic of the Church of Scientology since 1997.

In 2006, he won a Regional Emmy Award after he and KUSI-TV news reporter Lena Lewis produced a documentary news video on the issues with the United States – Mexico border with San Diego, California.

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Police remove valuables from unlocked cars

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Police officers in Richmond in south-west London, England are removing valuable items like handbags and laptops from unlocked vehicles and leaving notes telling owners to collect their items in Twickenham police station in a bid to try and encourage car drivers to lock the doors of their vehicles.

There is a high number of in-car thefts or “smash and grab” attacks in the borough. Last year, 1,300 of these attacks were reported in the area. 220 of those cases involved satellite navigation systems or sat-navs. But the numbers of these thefts occurring have been rising recently. The figure has risen by 40% until July.

25 cars have been targeted so far but there has been only one car where an item has been removed with a note left for the owner to collect it. If there is nothing on display but the car is unlocked the owner will be sent a letter telling them to be more careful. These tactics should only be attempted by police officers if they cannot find the owner nearby.

The project has received the backing of Richmond Council. A council spokesman from Richmond-upon-Thames said: “We have issues with theft in the borough — particularly theft from cars. We see our borough as a green and pleasant place. Car owners therefore can be lulled into a false sense of security in that they leave items displayed prominently in unlocked cars.”

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