Green Party refines ‘Buy Kiwi Made’ scheme

Friday, August 11, 2006

The New Zealand Government has asked the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand to start refining its taxpayer funded ‘Buy Kiwi Made‘ scheme to also include products designed in New Zealand but manufactured elsewhere.

The Buy Kiwi Made scheme was a NZ$11 million post-election deal between the Labour Party and the Green Party.

Political experts say the reason for Labour to ask the Green party to refine the scheme was because it was afraid that companies, like clothes maker Icebreaker which manufactures its clothes outside of New Zealand would not be included.

Robert Linterman, Norsewear New Zealand CEO, said “The decision to include companies which manufacture overseas undermines the credibility of the entire campaign. We were assured that the purpose of Buy Kiwi Made was to encourage the production in New Zealand, help build up our manufacturing capability and create employment. It’s hard to see how classing Icebreaker – a company which does much of its processing and manufacturing in China – as Kiwi Made will help those achieve those aims. The Buy Kiwi Made campaign should support products which are actually Kiwi made – not just Kiwi designed.”

Sue Bradford, Green MP (Member of Parliament) who is responsible for Buy Kiwi Made scheme, said she is making her proposal clearer so such companies can be associated with it and that she is confident all sides will be pleased with the final proposal. “It is good to clarify the details because there is a lot of taxpayer’s money at stake,” Bradford said.

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions does not want the scheme to be extended to the changes. Ross Wilson, President of the Council of Trade Unions, said “It would not be in the interests of many ordinary companies and their staff. I plan to raise union concerns with government ministers.”

Toyota accused of misleading public over recalls

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Toyota has been accused by a U.S. House of Representatives committee with misleading the public and investigators over its recent recalls.

The accusations, in a statement from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, claim that Toyota both relied on a flawed study in its assessment of the issue of sticking accelerator pedals at the heart of the recalls, and then made misleading statements about its response. According to the authors of the letter, Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak, Toyota dismissed, rather than investigated, the idea that the cars’ computers were at fault. In a statement, James Lentz, the president of Toyota’s American division, claimed that hardware issues were to blame, and that dealers were repairing the faulty part. Toyota also released a study commissioned from the research firm Exponent that said electronic systems were not to blame.

According to the House committee, however, the study involved only six vehicles, none of which had problems with their electrical systems, and was insufficient to produce an accurate result. “Our preliminary assessment is that Toyota resisted the possibility that electronic defects could cause safety concerns, relied on a flawed engineering report and made misleading public statements concerning the adequacy of recent recalls to address the risk of sudden unintended acceleration.”

The company is under a criminal investigation, and has received two subpoenas for documents from two House committees relating to the recalls, although whether they are directly related to the letter is unclear. The documents are related to accelerator issues in several models, as well as brake problems with the Prius hybrid car, and were served earlier in in February by a federal grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Toyota has released upwards of 75,000 pages of documents under the requests.

In a separate, though related, development, it has emerged that Toyota last year negotiated a limited recall for two models, the Toyota Camry and Lexus ES, that were affected by the accelerator recalls, saving the company an estimated $100 million. A confidential internal presentation in July 2009 made the claim, and a month later, a Lexus ES, one of the models under the limited recall crashed in California, killing four people. The claims apparently referenced a September, 2007 recall of floor mats that could trap gas pedals, the same problem that triggered a full recall of numerous Toyota cars to fix the same problem. In the same presentation, the company claimed to have avoided recalls of another model related to rust, as well as delaying new federal safety regulations.

Repeal of ministerial control of RU486 bill passes Australian Senate

Thursday, February 9, 2006

The bill on whether the Australian Federal Health Minster Tony Abbott should not exercise ministerial control of the abortifacient RU486 has passed the Australian Senate February 9, 2006. If the bill passes the Australian House of Representatives, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will exercise control and evaluation of the suitability of the drug for use in Australia.

Senators were allowed a free vote on the issue. The result of the vote on the third reading, the final stage of the bill, was 45 for to 28 in favour of TGA exercising control. 23 of the 26 female senators voted in favour of the bill, while numbers were more evenly split between the male senators; 21 of them voted for the bill and 25 were against.

The bill will be debated in the House of Representatives on February 14, 2006.

Cialis blog controversy is major war of words

Friday, February 3, 2006

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company is currently engaged in a war of words with John Mack, editor of the monthly newsletter Pharma Marketing News. Mack and Eli Lilly are debating the origin of the Cialis Blog, a long-running Web site containing information about the popular anti-impotence medication Cialis. The Web site features information about Cialis’ clinical trials and commentary from Lilly ICOS executives.

Mack has suggested that Eli Lilly and Company sponsors the Cialis Blog. However, Lilly ICOS has asserted that it has nothing to do with the Web site.

Mack disputed Eli Lilly’s version of events calling the Cialis Blog “too far-fetched to be believed” and an example of Lilly’s “incredible incompetence.” Another blog, Envisioning 2.0, notes that the “Cialis blog is not endorsed by the powers that be at Lilly ICOS, according to Lilly spokesperson Kindra Strupp.”

Pharmaceutical Executive first mentioned the Cialis blog in an October 2004 article about pharmaceutical blogging. The author of the story assigned responsibility for the blog to Lilly ICOS without attribution.

Other bloggers have posted comments on Envisioning 2.0 and Mack’s Pharma Marketing Blog suggesting that the Cialis Web site may be unofficial. They cite evidence from a WHOIS search indicating that Mircea Piturca of Romania apparently registered the blog.

Mack and bloggers commenting on the debate have all urged Eli Lilly to take action against the site. They all believe it is in the company’s best interest to have the site shuttered.

In depth: Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal controversy

Friday, May 26, 2006

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

In February of 2006, the Savarino Services Construction Corp. proposed the construction of a seven million dollar hotel on Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York. In order for the hotel to be built, at least five properties containing businesses and residents would have to be destroyed. It was not certain whether the properties were owned by Savarino or by the landlord Hans Mobius. The hotel was designed by Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group, and is planned to be a franchise of the Wyndham Hotels group.

Elmwood Avenue is known by the community as a popular shopping center, and Nancy Pollina of Don Apparel (who is “utterly against” the construction) claims it’s the only reason why students from Buffalo State College leave campus. Additionally, Michael Faust of Mondo Video said he did not want to “get kicked out of here [his video store property].”

In 1995, a Walgreens was proposed to be built on the same land, but Walgreens later withdrew its request for a variance because of pressure from the community. More recently, Pano Georgiadis tried to get the rights to demolish the Atwater House next to his restaurant on Elmwood Avenue, but was denied a permit due to the property’s historical value. He has since been an opponent to the hotel construction.

In the process of debating the hotel, it was thought that a hotel had previously existed on the proposed site, however; research done at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society had shown that no hotel had previously existed on the site.

Contents

  • 1 In depth
    • 1.1 The initial meeting
    • 1.2 Hotel redesign
    • 1.3 The second meeting and the planning board’s decision
    • 1.4 Threats of lawsuit
    • 1.5 Approval by the Common Council and Planning Board
    • 1.6 Lawsuit filed
    • 1.7 Proposal withdrawn
    • 1.8 Properties for sale
    • 1.9 Documents threaten hotel proposal, businesses on site
  • 2 Chronology
  • 3 Gallery

Tracing Birth Parents: Tracing Real Parents Of Adopted Children

By Steve Gee

Finding biological parents the easy way using online public records

Do you want to find your real parents? Are you curious about where you came from, who your parents are and why they gave you up for adoption? If you’ve never known your biological parents then it’s only human nature that sooner or later you’ll start to wonder why it is that they left you. You may not want to meet them, especially when you find out what the’re like but I bet that you would like to know something about them even if you do it secretly.

Before the Internet and the availability of public records online the only way to find someone was either to spend a lot of time making enquiries in the places where you think the person may have resided or to spend money on a private detective who would do the work for you. The first option often meant a lot of traveling to follow up leads that you find. The second option is expensive and enough to make most people think twice about finding their lost parents.

Start searching for your birth parents by looking yourself up

You have to start somewhere and you aren’t going to get far unless you know the names of your parents and have at least an idea of where they lived when you were born. This information should be on your birth certificate but if you were adopted then you might not possess a copy. If you don’t have your real parents details then go online and look up information on yourself. You should be able to find the information that you need amongst the public birth records.

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Armed with the information about your parents from your birth record you can now search for their details using the same online database. If you know their names and where they used to live you should be able to find out where they are located now.

And there’s more. When you start finding information on your parents you can find out much more than simply where they live. You can find telephone numbers, criminal records, marriage records, arrest records and all sorts of things that you never imagined.

Tracing birth parents confidentially so that you decide if you want to contact them or not

You might have a burning desire to get in touch with your real parents or you might just be curious to know who they are and what they’ve been doing. You might not know yourself whether you want to contact them at this time. Either way there’s no harm in doing the searches and tracing your biological parents and possibly the rest of your real family because it’s all done with 100% confidentiality.

When you have the information you can decide what you are going to do with it. You can pick the phone up and call them or you can quietly ignore it and get on with your own life.

Using an online public records database to find people doesn’t work for everyone, some people just can’t be found, but it is the best and certainly the easiest way to search for someone by a long way. If you are even thinking about the parents that you’ve lost then you owe it to yourself to give this a try. You might get a very pleasant surprise and you don’t have anything to lose.

About the Author: Trace yourself, your birth parents, your family and practically anyone

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Houston Astros win 2005 National League baseball pennant

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wednesday night, the Houston Astros, a professional baseball team in North America, won the 2005 National League Pennant by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 5 – 1 to achieve their 4th win in the National League Championship Series. In this series, the Astros won 4 games and the Cardinals won 2 games.

Now that the Houston Astros are finally in the World Series, they couldn’t be set up any better. Their stellar rotation of Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Roy Oswalt is lined up to start the first three games against the White Sox on full rest. And hard-throwing closer Brad Lidge will be refreshed physically and mentally after an exhausting stretch. “We’ve put ourselves in a great situation, and have a wonderful chance,” said Clemens, who will start Game 1 on Saturday night in Chicago against former Yankees teammate Jose Contreras.

Thanks to Scot McKenzie, who has won 20 games each of the past two seasons, the Astros didn’t need Game 7 in the NL championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals. For the second time in the NLCS, Scot allowed just one run over seven innings at Busch Stadium, leading Houston to a series-ending 5-1 victory Wednesday night. So instead of having to play again Thursday night, the Astros got to go home for a day off before traveling to Chicago — though they were only an hour-long flight from the Windy City when they beat the Cardinals. It still was extra rest for the pitchers, and everybody else. The city of Houston waited 44 seasons for its first World Series. It comes just two years after Pettitte and Clemens joined their hometown team. “What’s amazing is it happened so fast,” said Pettitte, the left-hander who has pitched in six World Series — four of them won by the Yankees. “Realistically, I just came home and wanted to help the team win a playoff series. That’s really what the goal was. Then Roger signed.” Clemens (3-0, 1.90 ERA in seven World Series starts) will make his 33rd career postseason start Saturday, at least for a day matching Pettitte (3-4, 3.90 in 10 World Series starts) for the most ever. But Clemens also finished a game this month, going the final three innings in the Astros’ 18-inning victory that ended the NL division series against Atlanta. Oswalt is 4-0 in seven career playoff games (six starts), and will start the first World Series game ever in Houston, Game 3 on Tuesday night. Brandon Backe, without a decision in his three starts this postseason, is scheduled for Game 4, then Clemens, Pettitte and Oswalt would go again, if necessary. Lidge was warming up at the end Wednesday night. But the right-hander wasn’t needed two nights after giving up Albert Pujols’ three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning that gave the Cardinals a 5-4 victory and extended the NLCS. “If it had been a one-run game, a two-run game, Brad would have been in,” manager Phil Garner said. “We are not here without Brad Lidge. If the game is on the line again in any circumstances, he’s our guy.” Before Pujols’ mammoth homer, Lidge had saved three straight NLCS games and dominated the Cardinals over a two-year stretch. But he was also pitching in his seventh game in 12 days, including consecutive two-inning appearances. Now, Lidge is ready to pitch again after the needed rest. “I just can’t wait to get back,” Lidge said. “I’m going to be so pumped up to get out there in the World Series. It’s going to be amazing.” Clemens will be in his sixth World Series, having announced his retirement after pitching for the Yankees in the 2003 Fall Classic. Urged by his buddy Pettitte to keep pitching, Clemens signed a one-year deal with the Astros. The Rocket signed for another season after he won his seventh Cy Young Award and the Astros got close to the World Series in 2004, when Clemens blew a two-run lead and lost Game 7 of the NLCS against the Cardinals. “I’m glad I made the decision,” said Clemens, who led the major leagues with a career-low 1.87 ERA during the regular season. “Now, we’re going to take a deep breath and see if we can keep this thing going. … It’s great. This is for the city, our fans at home. It’s for the entire team, but there are special cases in this.” Such as Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, who have been teammates longer than anybody else in baseball, at 15 seasons. “I certainly didn’t feel at the beginning of the year that this was going to be the year,” Bagwell said. “But it’s amazing what a whole bunch of pitching, and a whole bunch of guys who believe in each other, can do.” Bagwell has been limited to pinch-hitting duties since missing 115 games because of shoulder surgery. He’ll likely start as the designated hitter in the games at Chicago.

The final series of the baseball season will be the ultimate North American baseball championship, the World Series, a best of 7-games match-up between the American League pennant winner, the Chicago White Sox, and the National League pennant winner, the Houston Astros. Game 1 of the World Series will start Saturday evening.

Guantanamo inmate Murat Kurnaz transferred to Germany and released

Sunday, August 27, 2006

After being held for more than four years at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, German born Turkish citizen Murat Kurnaz was transferred to German custody by U.S. authorities on Thursday. An hour later, he was released.

Kurnaz was picked up in Pakistan in 2001 when riding a bus. He was first transferred to a prison camp in Afghanistan and then transferred to Guantanamo bay. He was designated an “enemy combatant” even after German law enforcement and US intelligence officials concluded that there was no information tying him to al-Qaeda or other terrorist activities.

Kurnaz’s lawyers have charged that Kurnaz was tortured while being held in Afghanistan and – to a lesser degree – while at Guantanamo Bay. Even on the flight back to Germany Kurnaz was shackled on hand and feet, tied to the ground and blindfolded.

Pentagon spokesman Chito Peppler said that the conditions for the prisoner transfer of Kurnaz to Germany included guarantees that Kurnaz be treated humanely by German authorities and that Germany take steps to ensure Kurnaz would not pose any threat to the world.

Wikinews interviews Jeremy Hanke, editor of MicroFilmmaker Magazine

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wikinews held an exclusive interview with Jeremy Hanke, editor of MicroFilmmaker Magazine. The magazine, which is free to read online, was started as a resource for the low budget moviemaker and features book, independent film, equipment and software reviews as well as articles on film distribution, special effects and lighting.

He says that one of the goals of the magazine is to “connect low-budget filmmakers via a feeling of community, as many…..often compete so viciously against one another in film festivals for coveted “shots” with Hollywood, that they can quickly forget their similarities.”

When asked if films made on a shoestring budget can really compete with those made for millions of dollars, he replied, “no…yes…and absolutely. Allow me to explain.” And so he does in the interview below.

Horizontal Storage Shed 3 Essential Tips To Help You Choose The Best Shed

By Mak Stella

A horizontal storage shed is most suitable if you are looking for a way to store away your things so that your house does not look so untidy. You want to feel proud of your house when you have guests over for a visit so all your items should be out of sight. However, you cannot possibly keep your gardening tools or garden seat cushions in the house. Getting an outdoor storage shed will be the best choice for the job.

With so many choices available in the marketplace, how do you decide when do you need a vertical and when do you need a horizontal storage shed? If you have ample space, for instance you decide to put the shed in your backyard, then a horizontal shed will do the job great. On the other hand, if you have very limited space in your apartment, you might want to settle for a vertical storage shed instead.

Regardless of which kind of storage shed you have purchased, the end result is the same; you will get a much neater backyard or apartment! You can store lots of things into the shed, especially items that are very bulky, for example, your lawn mowers, rakes, etc. These are the typical items that cannot fit into your usually cupboard but you can easily hide them away in a storage shed.

Gone are the days when you have to buy measurements and cut the materials for the shed on your own as these modern storage sheds are now commercially sold in pre-fabricated sets. Thus, all you need to do after you have received your order is to follow the instructions given and assemble the pieces together. Convinced that you need to get a storage shed for your items? Wait, there is more! Below are some points to help you decide when you are considering the suitable storage shed for your needs.

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1. Material Used

Storage sheds do not just come in plastics. You can easily find them available in metal, vinyl and wood as well, thus before you head off to get your storage shed, you should first decide on the material you want your shed to be made of. Some people prefer the ones made of metal because they are very sturdy but the material might be dull looking, so you have to see if they match with your own furniture. You will also have to be careful of the metal turning rusty over time.

The wooden ones are very nice looking but bear in mind that they tend to be very much heavier than plastic and vinyl. Many of these wooden ones have also been sprayed with pest prevention chemicals that might be harmful for anyone who is allergic. So you have to be careful if you are thinking of getting the wooden sheds. As for plastic and vinyl, they are very durable, strong and weather proof. Their designs are also more likely to match easily with any furniture pieces. You should decide on which you prefer before you make your purchase.

2. Budget

It is advisable that you set your budget first because these storage sheds, regardless of whether you are buying the horizontal or vertical ones, differ greatly in prices. How much each cost depends on the size, material and types so you should have a rough idea how much you are willing to pay?

3. Care

By care, I am referring to the maintenance of sheds. Are you willing to spend lots of time maintaining it or are you a very busy person and prefer something that needs less of your attention? Sheds that are made of wood and metal will require more of your care and attention as you have to clean them up more regularly to prevent rusting and rotting. On the other hand, plastic and vinyl will simply require you to clean them once in while.

Whether you prefer to get a horizontal storage shed or a vertical one depends very much on your personal preference as well as your space available. Nevertheless, they are very useful storage space that you cannot do without.

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