Category:May 17, 2010

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 Correction — August 24, 2015 This article incorrectly describes BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 

Monday, February 28, 2005

Bucharest, Romania — The construction of the oil pipeline linking Constan?a, Romania with Trieste, Italy could commence as soon as 2007, claims Eugen Tapu, the Romanian State Secretary in the Economy and Trade Ministry. The exact date will depend on how fast the countries involved in the project can sign the project.

The pipeline will run from Constan?a, Romania’s largest port on the Black Sea, through Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia before ending up in Trieste, northern Italy. Tapu named Chevron Texaco, British Petroleum and OMV among the companies interested in the project.

The oil pipeline is expected to cost Romania 1.9 billion euro.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellen while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother’s amorous pursuit.

The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950’s America and that White’s work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White’s enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.

Contents

  • 1 On literature
  • 2 On work as a gay writer
  • 3 On sex
  • 4 On incest in his family
  • 5 On American politics
  • 6 On his intimate relationships
  • 7 On Edmund White
  • 8 On Larry Kramer
  • 9 Source

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The European Union has emerged from its worst recession since World War II, with the announcement on Friday that the region posted a modest growth in the third quarter. Despite the news, some EU economies including Spain and the United Kingdom are still struggling.

Both the European Union as a whole and the sixteen EU countries sharing the euro currency (the “eurozone”) posted positive growth, at 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. This follows five consecutive quarters of negative growth. The data was published by the European statistical agency Eurostat and announced by the European Commission in Brussels.

Two of Europe’s biggest economies, France and Germany, helped drive the overall growth. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced the French economy had grown 0.3 percent in the third quarter, and predicted it would enter 2010 with its old momentum.

In an interview on French radio, Lagarde said the fact the French economy had posted two successive quarters of positive growth showed it was turning around. She also noted that the labour market had only shed 5,000 jobs in the last quarter, far fewer than at the beginning of the year. Speaking from Singapore, Lagarde predicted Asia would drive the world economic recovery — but she also said it was important to continue government economic stimulus measures through 2010.

Germany’s economy grew 0.7 percent in the third quarter and Italy and the Netherlands also posted an upturn. Lithuania recorded the biggest growth — up 6 percent in the third quarter.

However the economies of both Spain and the United Kingdom shrunk in the same quarter. The UK’s Office for National Statistics initially estimated a fall of 0.4 percent in British output, though this could be revised. Britain had widely been expected to show growth in the third quarter. Eurostat figures also showed that unemployment in Europe overall rose to 9.7 percent in September — the highest in 20 years.

Some economists believe that growth in Europe and the United States may slow or even reverse in 2010, in a so called “double-dip”. Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight warned that the end of some government stimulus such as car scrappage schemes could cause a “loss of momentum”. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF, disagreed, predicting in a statement from Singapore that 2010 would be a global “year of recovery”.

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, February 5, 2007.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

In the official result of Friday’s Irish referendum over the legality of abortion, referendum officer Barry Ryan announced yesterday 66.4% of voters favoured overturning the eighth amendment of the constitution. Introduced in 1983, the eighth amendment made abortion constitutionally illegal. Irish Taoiseach — Prime Minister — Leo Varadkar said supporting legislation, to be framed following the result of this referendum, is to be “enacted before the end of this year”.

More than 2.1 million people voted on the referendum on Friday. With a 64.1% turnout, 1,429,981 voted in favour of eliminating the abortion ban while 723,632 voted to keep it. The results were announced at Dublin Castle. About 6000 voters spoiled their votes. Calling it “an historic day”, Prime Minister Varadkar said it was “a great act of democracy.” Ministers said they would form laws allowing medical termination of pregnancy in the first trimester, twelve weeks, of pregnancy, and under special cases until the 24th week. The legislation is to be formed after discussion with medical experts.

Since the amendment, Article 40.3.3 of the Irish constitution, in 1983, which gave an unborn child equal rights to life as the mother, hundreds of thousands of women traveled to different countries for the medical termination of pregnancy, while some used medical drugs illegal in Ireland to terminate the pregnancy.

“Savita Matters, Women Matter” was one of the slogans used by the supporters who wanted to repeal the amendment. In October 2012, a 31-year-old dentist of Indian origin, Savita Halappanavar, died from sepsis at a Galway hospital after she was denied abortion for a protracted miscarriage. She was told by a midwife that termination of pregnancy would not be possible since Ireland was a “Catholic country”. Halappanavar’s photo was used for posters by supporters who wanted the 35-year-old amendment repealed. In 2016, the current Roman Catholic Pope, Pope Francis, described abortion as a “very grave sin” and a “horrendous crime”.

Halappanavar’s father Andanappa Yalagi told Hindustan Times, “We’ve got justice for Savita. What happened to her will not happen to any other family. I have no words to express my gratitude to the people of Ireland at this historic moment.” 39 of 40 Irish constituencies voted in favour of repealing the law, while voters in only one constituency, Donegal, voted against — 51.87% opting to keep the anti-abortion laws. After the result was announced, the crowd were chanting Savita’s name in front of Dublin Castle.

Cora Sherlock, an anti-abortion activist, said, “what we voted on today is the ending of human life.” “I will accept the will of the Irish people, at the same time I will make it very clear what I feel of the campaign that has taken place. We will now regroup and find out what our next move is”, she added. Another activist, David Quinn, said, “The result today is basically a reversal of the 1983 result. On that occasion the defeated side did not simply slip away.”

“The people have said that we want a modern constitution for a modern country”, Prime Minister Varadkar said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later congratulated Varadkar on Twitter, saying: “What a moment for democracy and women’s rights.”

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Flight Lieutenant Jon “Eggman” Egging, 33, of the RAF Aerobatic Team (The Red Arrows) has been killed in a crash, shortly after a display in Bournemouth, England. This is the first fatality involving the team for 23 years.

The BAE Hawk jet aircraft crashed at 13:50 BST on the banks of river Stour, near Throop village. A witness, Shaun Spencer-Perkins, said the aircraft “bounced across the field [and] … across the river. Members of the public jumped into the water to search for the cockpit.” Bournemouth Airport closed briefly, following the incident, but has since reopened and is operating normally.

Emergency services were called to the scene, but Egging, who was reportedly thrown clear of the cockpit during the crash, was pronounced dead at the scene, local police announced. He joined the team in autumn 2010 and is the first active member of the team to be killed since 1988. The Ministry of Defence is investigating the cause of the accident.

Egging is believed to have been attempting to avoid nearby houses before the crash. Local residents, who were attempting to rescue the pilot, found an empty ejector seat and parachute at the scene, and believed the pilot to be already dead when they found him.

So far, there is no official explanation for the accident. Amateur footage of the accident shows the aircraft making a tight turn as part of a fan-out manoeuvre, along with other aircraft from the team. Egging’s aircraft then heads towards the horizon, with no apparent radical course change or additional manoeuvre, before disappearing out of sight behind a building. All the aircraft leave a white trail of smoke behind the aircraft, as is a routine part of the Red Arrows display.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

United States president-elect Barack Obama has chosen Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a medical correspondent from the American television station CNN, to be the next United States Surgeon General. Gupta, also a neurosurgeon, was reported to be chosen because of his background in broadcasting and skills in communication. He is currently the host of House Call, a program on CNN, a columnist for Time Magazine, a contributor to CBS News, and also a part time worker at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He will likely leave all of these positions to serve as US Surgeon General.

Dr. Joseph Heyman of the American Medical Association supported Gupta, stating “If chosen, Dr. Gupta’s communication skills and medical knowledge could be a boon to the new administration’s health system reform efforts.” Conversely, Doctors Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice stated that the next Surgeon General would need to “…demonstrate skills that are too often missing in medical news on TV: skepticism about the science and a careful analysis of both the benefits and harms of medical care.”

According to reports by sources close to the discussions, Gupta met with Barack Obama on November 25 in Chicago to discuss the position. He later met with several advisors to the president-elect, including Thomas A. Daschle of the US Department of Health and Human Services. He was reported to tell Obama that he wanted the Surgeon General position. Gupta declined to comment about the situation yesterday, but did state that he plans to accept Obama’s choice.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Bicycle sales in Australia have recorded record sales of 1,273,781 units for 2006, exceeding car sales by 32 percent. It is the fifth year in a row that the bicycle industry has sold more than one million units, a figure yet to be realised by car manufacturers.

The Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) spokesman Ian Christie said Australians were increasingly using bicycles as an alternative to cars. Sales rose nine percent in 2006 while the car market stalled. Mr Christie said people were looking to cut their fuel costs and improve their fitness.

Mr Christie said organisations were beginning to supply bicycles as a company vehicle. “There is an emerging trend towards people using bikes as their official company-supplied vehicle in place of the traditional company car,” he said.

“Some of Australia’s biggest corporations now have bicycle fleets, and when you add in government organisations, we now know of at least 50 organisations which operate fleets of bikes.”

“Although the company bicycle is a long way from taking over from the company car, it’s an important trend when you consider that nearly half of all cars sold are to company fleets.”

The CPF claims most commutes to work are less than 5 kilometres (3 miles) making bicycle travel a viable alternative.

 Correction — January 10, 2009 This article incorrectly states that Mr Madoff attended Hofstra University Law School. His education was actually with Hofstra College, which he graduated from in 1960. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

Top broker and Wall Street adviser Bernard L. Madoff, aged 70, was arrested and charged by the FBI on Thursday with a single count of securities fraud, also known as stock fraud and investment fraud. He allegedly told senior employees of his firm on Wednesday that his $50 billion business “is all just one big lie” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme (since at least 2005).” Mr. Madoff faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5 million. FBI agent Theodore Cacioppi said Mr. Madoff’s investment advisory business had “deceived investors by operating a securities business in which he traded and lost investor money, and then paid certain investors purported returns on investment with the principal received from other, different investors, which resulted in investors’ losses of approximately $50 billion dollars.”

The former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market is also the founder and primary owner of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the closely-held market-making firm he launched in 1960. The firm is one of the top market maker firms on Wall Street. He founded his family firm with an initial investment of $5,000, after attending Hofstra University Law School. He saved the money earned from a job lifeguarding at Rockaway Beach in Queens and a part time job installing underground sprinkler systems.

A force in Wall Street trading for nearly 50 years, he has been active in the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), a self-regulatory organization for the U.S. securities industry. His firm was one of the five most active firms in the development of the NASDAQ, having been known for “paying for order flow,” in other word paying a broker to execute a customer’s order through Madoff. He argued that the payment to the broker did not alter the price that the customer received. He ran the investment advisory as a secretive business, however.

Dan Horwitz, counsel of Mr. Madoff, in an interview, said that “he is a longstanding leader in the financial-services industry with an unblemished record; he is a person of integrity; he intends to fight to get through this unfortunate event.” Mr. Madoff was released on his own recognizance on the same day of his arrest, after his 2 sons turned him in, and posting $10 million bail secured by his Manhattan apartment. Without entering any plea, the Court set the preliminary hearing for January 12.

Madoff’s hedge fund scheme may rank among the biggest fraud in history. When former energy trading giant Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001, one of the largest at the time, it had $63.4 billion in assets. The scheme would dwarf past Ponzis, and it would further be nearly five times the telecommunication company WorldCom fraud and bankruptcy proceedings in 2002.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a separate civil suit on Thursday against Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities and its eponymous founder Mr. Madoff. It was docketed as “U.S. v. Madoff,” 08-MAG-02735, by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan). SEC, New York associate director of enforcement, Andrew M. Calamari, asked the judge to issue seizure orders on the firm and its assets, and appoint a receiver. The SEC pleads, among others, that “it was an ongoing $50 billion swindle; our complaint alleges a stunning fraud that appears to be of epic proportions.” It further accused the defendant of “paying returns to certain investors out of the principal received from other, different investors” for years. Madoff’s hedge fund business had previously claimed to have served between 11 and 25 clients and had $17.1 billion in assets under management. But virtually all of the assets were missing.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Louis L. Stanton on Thursday appointed Lee Richards, a Manhattan lawyer, as the firm’s receiver. A hearing is set for Friday, for a ruling on the SEC’s petition to grant plenary powers to the receiver over the entire firm, and an absolute asset sequestration.

Doug Kass, president of hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Management said that “this is a major blow to confidence that is already shattered — anyone on the fence will probably try to take their money out.”

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