FEMA employees pose as fake reporters during press conference

 Correction — September 10, 2013 The headline should not contain the word fake: the employees posed as reporters; they didn’t pose as fake reporters, on the contrary they were fake reporters posing as real reporters. We aopologize for the error. 

Friday, October 26, 2007

The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is under fire after the agency held a fake press conference with fake news reporters in regards to individuals affected by the California wildfires and the assistance they could receive.

The agency called a press conference on Tuesday, giving the press only 15 minutes to show up. When many did not, FEMA brought in agency officials to pose as fake reporters and ask questions. The option for reporters to call into the conference was also available, but the ones who did call in only got to listen to the press conference, and could not ask questions. No reporters were actually present during the conference, parts of which were carried live on Fox News and MSNBC.

During the briefing, FEMA employees asked Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson a series of what The New York Times called “decidedly friendly questions” such as “What type of commodities are you pledging to California?”, “What lessons learned from Katrina have been applied?” and “Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?”. The briefing followed the format of a press conference, with FEMA’s press secretary at one point cautioning that he would allow just “two more questions”, then calling later for a “last question”. Officials who posed as fake reporters included the deputy director of public affairs Cindy Taylor and Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin.

White House officials said that they do not condone FEMA’s actions and also state that they had no idea that the conference was taking place.

“FEMA has issued an apology, saying that they had an error in judgment when they were attempting to get out a lot of information to reporters, who were asking for answers to a variety of questions in regard to the wildfires in California. It’s not something I would have condoned. And they — I’m sure — will not do it again,” said Dana Perino, the White House’s press secretary in a statement.

FEMA apologizes for the mishap and says that their intentions were only to get the information to the citizens of California.

“[The purpose was] to get information out as soon as possible, and in trying to do so we made an error in judgment. Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received. We can and must do better,” said Harvey E. Johnson, the agency’s vice administrator. “The real story — how well the response and recovery elements are working in this disaster — should not be lost because of how we tried to meet the needs of the media in distributing facts,” a FEMA statement said.

FEMA is currently deciding whether or not any officials should face punishment for the incident. One of the officials responsible, Pat Philbin, is going on to be the new head of public relations for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

This is not the first time that the Bush administration has come under fire for planting reporters at press conferences. In February of 2005, White House reporter Jeff Gannon was accused of being planted to ask softball questions to President Bush. FEMA itself had earlier undergone criticism during Hurricane Katrina for using disaster workers for public relations in 2005.

Irs Tax Credit Card Debt Know Your Correct To Appeal And Stop Irs Tax Levies

Submitted by: Randal Souza

End the Madness: Did your acquire a “Last notice and intent to Levy” from the IRS without having knowing why? The IRS is relying greatly on automated programs to ship these notices out. And even far more not too long ago the IRS is relying on pc techniques to automatically issues Levies and Liens. This is a excellent time to know your rights. You have the proper to appeal an IRS Tax Levy.What You Can File Appeals For:-Penalties and Fascination-Have confidence in Fund Recovery Penalties-Employment Tax Adjustments-IRS Liens, Levies, and Seizures-Installment arrangement terminations-Rejected Provides-in-CompromiseFile Pronto: The quantity of time you have to file your appeal depends on what you are attractive. There are various suggestions and deadlines for every selection appeal. File right away. Procrastination will not shell out. If you do not appeal soon after the set deadline, you eliminate your right to doso.Obtaining To Function: It’s heading to be difficult to win an appeal. So make positive you know you are correct, that you followed all of the directions up to this point, and that you follow every of the steps below.-Fill out Selection Appeal Kind 9423-State why you’re disputing the IRS’s decision-Suggest what you feel is a reasonable resolution-Supply lots of documentation to prove your stageWaiting Game: Subsequent, you have to wait around for the IRS to get again to you. It usually will take five days, but it can get lengthier. Your appeal might be resolved by a mobile phone call or by a written letter. A hearing may be scheduled. You can decide on to stand for oneself or you can retain skilled aid.Finding Rejected: If your appeal was rejected, do not give up desire. If you know you have a valid explanation why you should not be levied against, get in touch with a Tax Skilled quickly. A certified tax skilled understands how to negotiate with the IRS much better than the regular taxpayer. But act quickly, since the volume of time you have to appeal is restricted.Now You Have The Smoking Gun…Use it! End the Madness: Did your acquire a “Last notice and intent to Levy” from the IRS without having knowing why? The IRS is relying greatly on automated programs to ship these notices out. And even far more not too long ago the IRS is relying on pc techniques to automatically issues Levies and Liens. This is a excellent time to know your rights. You have the proper to appeal an IRS Tax Levy.What You Can File Appeals For:-Penalties and Fascination-Have confidence in Fund Recovery Penalties-Employment Tax Adjustments-IRS Liens, Levies, and Seizures-Installment arrangement terminations-Rejected Provides-in-CompromiseFile Pronto: The quantity of time you have to file your appeal depends on what you are attractive. There are various suggestions and deadlines for every selection appeal. File right away. Procrastination will not shell out. If you do not appeal soon after the set deadline, you eliminate your right to do so.Obtaining To Function: It’s heading to be difficult to win an appeal. So make positive you know you are correct, that you followed all of the directions up to this point, and that you follow every of the steps below.-Fill out Selection Appeal Kind 9423-State why you’re disputing the IRS’s decision-Suggest what you feel is a reasonable resolution-Supply lots of documentation to prove your stageWaiting Game: Subsequent, you have to wait around for the IRS to get again to you. It usually will take five days, but it can get lengthier. Your appeal might be resolved by a mobile phone call or by a written letter. A hearing may be scheduled. You can decide on to stand for oneself or you can retain skilled aid.Finding Rejected: If your appeal was rejected, do not give up desire. If you know you have a valid explanation why you should not be levied against, get in touch with a Tax Skilled quickly. A certified tax skilled understands how to negotiate with the IRS much better than the regular taxpayer. But act quickly, since the volume of time you have to appeal is restricted.Now You Have The Smoking Gun…Use it!

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New bill will ban Muslims from wearing veils at polls in Canada

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A new bill will propose a law to amend the Canada Elections Act to ban Muslims from wearing veils (or niqab‘s) while at polls.

“During the recent by-elections in Quebec, the government made it clear that we disagreed with the decision by Elections Canada to allow people to vote while concealing their face. That is why, in the Speech from the Throne, we committed to introducing legislation to confirm the visual identification of voters,” said Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Peter Van Loan. “Today, with the introduction of this Bill, we have fulfilled that commitment.”

“While there was no apparent case of fraud in the recent Quebec by-elections, it was widely reported that numerous individuals voted while purposefully concealing their face,” said Member of Parliament Lawrence Cannon. “This caused people to question the credibility and integrity of the voting process. In a democratic system, it is crucial that confidence in our democracy be maintained. This Bill will maintain that confidence.”

Muslims will need to uncover when voting at all federal elections, by-elections, and advance polls. Citizens who are vouching for a voter who doesn’t have an ID will have to uncover their face as well. People who are medically required to have their faces covered are given an exception but will need to show photo ID and two pieces of other ID, or they will have to be vouched for by someone, who is not wearing a face covering, or removes their face covering. Alternatively they can make an oath saying it would be against the rules of their doctor or be harmful to their health to remove their face covering.

Elections Canada volunteers would need to, somehow, suit the voter to their religious needs, if necessary.

According to the press release it will allow “someone to be recognized, who is attempting to commit an offense at the polls (e.g. someone trying to vote twice),” and it will “restore public confidence in the electoral process.”

Bill C-31 allowed voters to wear veils as long as they showed two pieces of ID, with one displaying their address. If they only brought one piece, photo ID or not, they would be required to remove their veils. If the person had a voting card, the problem would not exist. However, the new proposed bill would require Muslims to remove their veil regardless of if they have a voting card.

The Chief Electoral Officer for Elections Quebec refused to come to agreement with the Federal Government’s opposition of his position of letting voters only remove their veils when they only brought one photo and no other ID, so they could compare their identity to the photo. He could have supported the Federal Government’s opposition and change the requirements, but since he didn’t the Canada Elections Act has been proposed to be amended.

“If anybody had actually bothered to ask the women that are actually concerned, and we are talking about a very small minority of women, they would have told them that they always take it off to identify their faces. And they do it at the bank, they do it at border crossings, they do it at the airport,” said Sarah Elgazzar, a spokeswoman for the Canada Council on American-Islamic Relations in September.

2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This year’s Leisure Taiwan trade show (a.k.a Taiwan Sport Recreation and Leisure Show) started yesterday, with 131 companies participating including sports media companies such as ESPN and VideoLand Television, businesses selling sports equipment and fitness clubs.

There were also a variety of sports being played in the arena built for the trade show. The events included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, free style shooting, and bicycle test-riding. In addition, conferences discussed issues related to sports and physical education.

A major topic in the trade show was energy-efficiency and, as a result, bicycles and similar sports equipment were being heavily promoted.

Next Tuesday, companies from the electronics industry plan to promote their industry at “2008 Digital E-Park.” In previous years, organizations from the electronics industry have showcased their products at Leisure Taiwan instead of at the Digital E-Park, so this move has reduced the number of markets covered by Leisure Taiwan.

Earthquake hits Turkey, hundreds reported dead

Monday, October 24, 2011

At least 264 people were killed, said Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin, in a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey yesterday. The quake was the strongest to hit Turkey in ten years. The city of Van has been heavily affected. The death toll was expected to rise.

A number of aftershocks has rattled Turkey since then, with the strongest one having a magnitude of 6.0. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reported 55 buildings destroyed in Ercis, north of Lake Van. He said “because the buildings” in affected villages not yet reached “are made of adobe, they are more vulnerable to quakes. I must say that almost all buildings in such villages are destroyed.”

Rescue efforts are being affected due to power outages due to power line damage from the quake.

Over 1,300 people were reported injured.

2008 YODEX Review: Varied competitions, Vast creations

Monday, May 26, 2008

The 27th Young Designers’ Exhibition 2008, recognized by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) as the largest show of student creations, recently ended Sunday May 18. It was held at the Taipei World Trade Center. Improvements and expansions were seen with 107 academical and industrial units. Different design competitions participated and showcased their products and also received awards.

It’s no doubt that companies related to design and cultural industries want to discover creative talents from academical units in this exhibition. However, most companies still try to showcase different conceptional and applicative products in order to promote Taiwan’s designs into the world market. A typical example is Fora Series, a photo-voltaic product series by the Tsann Kuen Trans-nation Group.

Before entering into their careers, students participated in this show and showcased varied styles that differ from the usual industrial businesspeople. To get more opportunities and in order to interact with the design and cultural industries, students also participated in vast competitions and tried to get the top places. Some students also tried to design conceptional products in conjunction with industrial designs, especially in some design competitions.

In summary, not only did the 2008 YODEX, have companies which can discover talents and showcase achievements of industrial design in the exhibition, but students can make their stages to showcase excellences from their creations in several competitions related to YODEX.

Obama to suspend Arctic oil drilling

Thursday, May 27, 2010

According to Democratic Senator Mark Begich from Alaska, the U.S. Department of the Interior has decided to halt all new Arctic exploratory oil drilling applications until 2011. The response is believed to be caused in part by the two current oil spill disasters (that of the Deepwater Horizon Incident and more recently the Alaska oil pipeline malfunction). However, Begich is not happy about the actions taken by the White House.

“I am frustrated that this decision by the Obama administration to halt offshore development for a year will cause more delays and higher costs for domestic oil and gas production to meet the nation’s energy needs,” Begich claims.

Last September, the state of Alaska made a public notice about Shell’s desire to drill off the coast of the Beaufort Sea, placing experimental drilling rigs at two drill site location: “Torpedo” and “Sivulliq”.

“Shell is committed to undertaking a safe and environmentally responsible exploration program in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea in 2010,” said Shell Oil Company President Marvin E. Odum to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Mineral Management Service (MMS).

Odum follows with, “I am confident that we are ready to conduct the 2010 Arctic exploratory program safely and, I want to be clear, the accountability for this program rests with Shell.”

Chuck Clausen, director of the Alaska project at the National Resources Defense Council is not so optimistic: “Hazards present in the Arctic can include frigid temperatures, presence of sea ice, gale-force winds, intense storms and heavy fog … The potential for loss in the Arctic is great.”

Odum believes that the climate in the arctic will make any spill easier to clean up because, “Arctic conditions create differences in responding to oil in cold and ice conditions. Differences in evaporation rates, viscosity and weathering provide greater opportunities to recover oil. In Arctic conditions, ice can aid oil spill response by slowing oil weathering, dampening waves, preventing oil from spreading over large distances, and allowing more time to respond.”

However, Clausen believes that there are no current systems to remove oil from icy ocean waters.

This is not the first time that President Obama’s administration has taken the environmentally cautious path in Alaska. The President put Bristol Bay off limits to oil and gas exploration until 2017. Bristol Bay currently is one of the top salmon fishing grounds in the state.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to give a speech at Thursday’s White House address, regarding the suspension of Arctic oil drilling projects.

Heating In Portland Can Be Assured With A Pre Season Checkup

byAlma Abell

The cold and damp season Portland experiences in the winter months requires a good functioning heating system to keep a home comfortable. The best way to achieve this is to have a pre-season checkup by an experienced heating system technician. This checkup will spot problems early and identify potential problems.

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An inspection of the burners is a good place to start because dirty burners must be cleaned to achieve optimum efficiency by preventing gas from burning inefficiently. Adjusting the burners will increase the efficiency and the fuel savings. The burners may need to be replaced. Specialists in Heating in Portland can offer advice on this process.

The technician will check for gas leaks to save fuel but more importantly to ensure the safety of your home. He will clean and adjust the pilot light and check the thermocouple to provide safety in the home.

The flue will be inspected for safe operation and to ensure there are no leaks and no pipe corrosion. A check will be made of any part of the heating system which could cause a gas leak and pose lethal danger to the home’s occupants. The heat exchanger can be checked for leaks to avoid creating the presence of carbon monoxide. Heating in Portland will offer guidance on dealing with carbon monoxide.

The blower wheel, belt tension and alignment, and the blower motor will be checked to be sure they function properly. The area of the furnace housing the blower motor and wheel will be cleaned of debris. The thermostat will be checked for the proper calibration to ensure comfort and minimize fuel and electricity costs.

A check of the furnace wiring will be made to ensure safety and to extend the life of the system. All electrical connections will be tightened and any corrosion will be cleaned. The vent system will be checked for cleanliness and obstructions. Occasionally, a home will have a vent system which actually obstructs air flow to a room or a section of the home. This problem can be detected by checking the temperature differences between supply vents. A wide difference would indicate that the furnace is not getting heat to part of the home. The air flow check will be made of return air temperatures and the return air velocity. All of these checks will ensure the total comfort of every area of your home by a Heating in Portland specialist.

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West Palm Beach, Florida plane crash kills four

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A plane crash at about 6:00 pm local time yesterday at the Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida killed four people. The aircraft involved in the incident was a twin-engine Piper PA-44 registered to FIT Aviation LLC, a Melbourne, Florida flight school.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board when the plane took off it encountered trouble with the left engine. It crashed into the tarmac, causing a fiery explosion. The dead have been identified as 26-year-old flight instructor Dheni Frembling, 21-year-old and 22-year old flight students Jordyn Agostini and 22-year-old Kristopher Henegar, and his 26-year-old brother Kyle Henegar.

The plane was flying a training flight from the Bahamas to Melbourne via Palm Beach when it crashed.