Saturday, May 31, 2008

The United Nations (UNFPA) organization United Nations Population Fund emphasized the importance of women’s health in Africa at the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV). Priorities of the conference include economic growth, peace and democracy and climate change. The three-day conference which ended Friday included representatives from over 80 countries.

At the conference in Yokohama, Japan, over 40 heads of State agreed on health priorities adopted at the end of the three-day summit. The theme of the conference was “Towards a vibrant Africa: A continent of hope and opportunity”, and approximately 86 countries were represented, as well as international organizations. The Yokohama Action Plan prioritizes universal access to reproductive health services and an increase in the number of African women who give birth with skilled assistance.

Japanese Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda announced steps which would be taken by his country to further health conditions in Africa, including: increasing funding to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, training 100,000 African health workers, and doubling the country’s bilateral development assistance to Africa by 2012. “In the future, Africa will become a powerful engine driving the growth of the world,” said Mr. Fukuda at the start of the conference.

The Prime Minister said Japan would offer up to US$4 billion in loans to African countries to go towards agriculture and infrastructure. He announced the formation of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation Facility for African Investment, which will provide $2.5 billion in financial assistance.

Reducing maternal mortality lies at the heart of implementation to achieve all the other goals.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro cited priority 5 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – preventing women’s deaths during pregnancy and childbirth as a serious challenge. “Reducing maternal mortality lies at the heart of implementation to achieve all the other goals,” said Migiro.

…preventing women’s deaths during pregnancy and childbirth – is generating the least resources and lagging the furthest behind. And African women are paying the price.

UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid told conference participants that women’s health in Africa should be made a priority. “Of all the Millennium Development Goals, goal number five – preventing women’s deaths during pregnancy and childbirth – is generating the least resources and lagging the furthest behind. And African women are paying the price,” she said. Obaid urged world leaders “to make the health of women a political and development priority”.

TICAD holds summits every five years, and is a joint program between Japan and the United Nations Development Programme. Japan will report the conference results at the Group of Eight (G8) meeting in Tokyo in July, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Fukuda.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Police forensic investigators in Canada continue the search for the body of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford, whom they now believe was murdered on the same day she was abducted, April 8, 2009 from her Woodstock, Ontario school.

Counselors have been providing support to students at Oliver Stephens Public School.

There have been two arrests made, one for the first-degree murder and abduction of Tori Stafford and the other person has been charged with being an accessory and abduction. The next court appearance is May 28.

Police and neighbours say that the parents of Tori may have been familiar with at least one of the abductors.

The search continues for the body of Tori as well as the rear seat of a vehicle connected with the abduction. The search area is around Guelph, and Fergus north east of Woodstock.

Police are seeking information about a blue 2003 four-door Honda which is believed to be blue with black spray paint on large portions of it. Investigators believe it to have been in the Home Depot parking lot in Guelph on the evening of April 8, the day of the abduction.

The grey cloth covered back seat from the above vehicle is missing and police are seeking to recover it. Police have been combing rural areas and scouring lake bottoms in the hopes of turning up more evidence.

“We continue to receive information on all different parts of the investigation and each piece of lead or tip, if you will, is being investigated as far as it can take us,” said Laurie-Anne Maitland, an Oxford Community Police Constable. “If I were her parent I would want to have that ounce of hope too until I knew 100 per cent. I think it’s the nature [of people to hope for] one possible little miracle … and it’s not [possible].”

Woodstock, the home town of Tori is located in the county of Oxford, and the search has spread out to the neighbouring county of Wellington. The city of Guelph is located about 42 miles (68 km) to the north east, and Fergus which is north of Guelph is about 57 miles (92 km) from Woodstock.

An Easy and Simple Way to Get Started with This Source Adwords Management



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Thursday, January 14, 2010

On Thursday, NASA officials confirmed that a small plastic bag of cocaine was found two days before in a secure space shuttle processing facility within the Kennedy Space Center located in Merritt Island, Florida.

An employee found the bag in Orbiter Processing Facility #3, where the Discovery is being prepared for a March launch to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. The man immediately notified security, and local police were soon called to the scene. From there, the bag’s contents were tested, and the results came back positive for cocaine.

The center’s director, Robert Cabana, assured the press that neither the Discovery nor the hangar in which it is being housed was compromised by the presence of the illegal drug. He went on to affirm that neither he nor his agency condone the use of any controlled substance by any employee while they are on the job, and that whoever is responsible will be fired and then prosecuted for the offenses.

Furthermore, Cabana stated that besides probing the criminal nature of what occurred, NASA will also conduct a full review of recent work performed on the Discovery as to make sure that there were not any other potential problems with the shuttle that investigators may have missed the first time.

Although a drug test was performed on each of the facility’s over two-hundred workers before they left Wednesday, “There was nothing obvious,” said the center’s public relations spokesman, Allard Beutel.

He goes on to say, “Nobody was obviously under the influence when they were working, because we have supervisors there, security in there. It wasn’t obvious somebody was under the influence of this substance, or any other, for that matter.”

Senator Bill Nelson, a former astronaut himself, says he is confident that the guilty party will be found, brought to justice, and then sent “out the door.”

Beutel concluded his statement by reaffirming NASA’s “zero-tolerance” policy for controlled substances, “People know how serious this is, and how serious[sic] people take it,” Beutel said. “And it’s not acceptable. That’s the bottom line.”

Thursday, August 24, 2006

South Auckland Tyndale Park Christian School have been asking parents of the pupils for permission to administer corporal punishment. The parents are informed that corporal punishment is illegal in New Zealand schools but it quotes the Bible “we ought to serve God rather than men”. Strapping children has been illegal since 1989.

“When this law was changed. . . exceptions were not given based on whether a school believed it was serving ‘God rather than men’. The Education Ministry should investigate allegations that trustees and staff at an Auckland school have sought permission from parents to strap children. It appears to me the school is deliberately breaking the law,” Green Party Member (MP), Sue Bradford, said.

Today the New Zealand Herald reported that they had obtained documents that outline the school’s “corporal correction” policy. The policy states that the strap must be given on the hand after consultation with another staff member and while that staff member is present. The child will then either be spoken to, prayed with or both.

Bradford said: “A full investigation was needed to ascertain whether any students at the school had been assaulted.”

Tyndale Park Christian School is a private Christian school that caters for students ranging from Year 1 to Year 13. The costs range from NZ$708-$1070 per term.

Jan Brinkham, school manager, said: “Our enrollment policy is between the parents who enroll children here and ourselves. We are not a state school; we are not bound by a particular enrollment policy,” but declined to talk or comment to the New Zealand Herald about the schools corporal punishment. “This is between the parents that enrol their children at our school and that is where the buck stops. It’s got nothing to do with anyone else except our parents,” he added.

The Education Review Office (ERO) and the Ministry of Education said that they were unaware of the policy and that private schools are not legally obliged to produce documents to government bodies.

ERO last year said in a report: “The school manager should ensure that parents are clearly informed that the school administers no corporal punishment.”

Charlene Scotti, ERO area manger of review services said: “Some schools had policies to call parents in for cases where corporal punishment was required, but were careful not to include staff in punishing students.”

Bruce Adin, Ministry of Education northern regional manager, said: “The legality of the Tyndale Park document was unclear, but if school staff strapped a student it would be illegal.”

“Corporal punishment in schools was made illegal years ago because it was considered to be brutal and unnecessary,” Bradford said.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, North Korea has fired a short-range missile today into the Sea of Japan. Officials believed it to be part of a regular exercise.

“North Korea fired a short-range missile in what appeared to be part of a military drill,” a Japanese Defense Ministry official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.

A South Korean defense spokesman said such tests are routine.

“We don’t deny that North Korea fired a missile,” South Korean Army Colonel Ha Doo-chul, told Yonhap. “If it did, we regard it as a routine exercise.”

The test comes at the time when North Korea is inviting inspectors in to discuss its nuclear programs.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I had an unofficial phone call from Gay Talese last Tuesday. He had just flown back from Colombia and he was cranky. “I’m happy to do an interview with you,” he said, “but what the hell could you ask me that’s not already out there? Have you even bothered to look?!”

“Jeez, Mr. Talese, lots of things,” was my response. I lied. The truth is that when I call people to interview them, I do not have a set of preconceived questions. My agenda is to talk to them and gain a sense of who they are; to flesh them out as humans. To find out what they think about the world around them at that moment. With Gay Talese I had little interest in talking about Frank Sinatra Has a Cold and with Augusten Burroughs I had little interest in discussing Running with Scissors. I want to know what they think about things outside of the boxes people have placed them in.

With a memoirist like Burroughs, even this is a challenge. What parts of his life he has not written about himself, other interviewers have strip-mined. When we met for dinner at Lavagna in the East Village, I explained to Augusten this issue. I suggested we make the interview more of a conversation to see if that would be more interesting. “Instead of you in the catbird seat,” I said, “let’s just talk.”

We struck an instant rapport. What set out to be an hour and half interview over dinner had turned into four hours of discussion about our lives similarly lived. I removed half of the interview: the half that focused on me.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s conversation with writer Augusten Burroughs.


  • 1 On addiction and getting sober
  • 2 On the Turcottes and his mother
  • 3 On his work
  • 4 On the response to his work from addicts
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On the gay community
  • 7 On his new book, A Wolf at the Table, a memoir about his father
  • 8 On women’s breasts and tattoos
  • 9 On losing his hair
  • 10 Sources



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An inquiry set up by the Australian Senate will decide where footage taken at sporting events can run.

“The potential precedents for this are enormous,” said the head of a major news agency. “This will set a global benchmark — it has been coming to a head for a long time.”

The inquiry was set up off the back of a feud between sporting organisations and media outlets over the use of footage, some of which was uploaded to YouTube, and photos taken at sporting events. It will also look at whether companies who own broadcast rights can get a commercial return by limiting the use of their footage.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Australian Associated Press boycotted the Australian cricket season because Cricket Australia required them to sign documents restricting the use of photos and video footage they [AFP, Reuters and AAP] collected. Journalists working for Fairfax Media and News Limited were almost banned from covering the 2006-07 Ashes Series after their respective organisations refused to sign accreditation documents. The issue was resolved.

“This is a matter that has been of immense concern to the media all over the world and control over access to events is being used to control access to images,” said Chris Warren, secretary of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA). He said that many Australians were unaware of how agreements were limiting their access to sports coverage.

A Wikinews reporter was able to get accreditation for the 2008-09 A-League Finals series. The reporter captured video footage and photos with his own camera. The video footage used was released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike and GNU Free Documentation License copyright licenses.

The debate over video footage has centred on “fair use” provisions in Australian copyright laws. The laws allow a small amount of video owned by some one else for the purpose of news reporting online.

The Functions of an Aircraft Sensor System


Joseph Polizzotto

Modern aircraft sensors play a critical role in the flight economy and safety of the aircraft, its passengers and the cargo it carries. There are several types of sensors used in modern aircraft. Temperature Sensors As the name suggests, these are sensors used to measure the temperature of various engine components within the aircraft. Temperature sensors are usually used to record Cylinder Head Temperature (CHT), Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT), Engine Oil Temperature (EOT), Fuel Temperature (FT), Hydraulic Fluid Temperature (HFT) etc. These sensors usually work on the Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) principle which essentially means that change in resistance (ohms) in a metal amalgam is directly proportional to temperature changes applied to it. So when an electrical current is passes through it, the change in resistance is calibrated and displayed as temperature of that particular component at the point where the sensor is placed.Liquid Level Sensors A liquid level sensor is generally mounted in thermowells and directly installed into reservoirs, tanks, sumps and gearboxes in the aircraft. These sensors are generally available as single point or multiple point interface elements or liquid levels and connected to onboard display units in the cockpit. Flow Sensors As the name suggests, a flow sensor is used to monitor the flow rate or any liquid be it aviation fuel or oil. The flow sensor is mounted within a thermowell and it might also contain an electronics unit that connects to a Fuel Gauges. The flow sensor is usually directly installed into pipe that carries the liquid for which the flow rate is being measured. Pressure Sensors A pressure sensor is used to measure pressure that is above or below a pre-set figure at the sensing location. The pressure sensor is directly installed into ducts, pipes, tanks, sumps, reservoirs or gearboxes in the aircraft. It can be specified to indicate either absolute or differential pressure.Proximity Sensors Proximity sensors are usually used to confirm the status of something that opens or closes e.g. doors, landing gear door, cargo bay door and so forth. It is also used to confirm if the landing gear is extended or retracted. RPM Sensor The aircraft spark plugs are powered by a mini power generator in the form of a Bendix Magneto generator. The Bendix Magneto is essentially a small generator with a transformer, breaker switch and a distributor to guide the high voltage to the spark plugs. It is important that this magnet rotate within the prescribed range and to confirm this, you need the Slim Line Instruments which is a small cylindrical device that plugs into the magneto and provides a feedback to the RMP display unit in the cockpit. Together, all these sensors provide critical information to the pilots and the pilots can either concentrate on flying when every reading is in the green or, take corrective action as required if one or more sensor provides abnormal feedback. The sensors therefore, have a direct bearing on the safety of the aircraft.J.P.Instruments was founded in 1986 in Huntington Beach, California, USA. J.P. Instruments is leader in aircraft engine data management systems and has added a whole line of reliable and cost effective aircraft instrumentation to its name.Article Source:

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Monday, February 20, 2012

A suicide bomb attack in the Iraqi capital Baghdad yesterday has killed at least eighteen people, all of whom were either police officers or cadets. Voice of America has cited the death toll as nineteen. At least 26 injuries have also been reported as a result of the incident.

According to police, the perpetrator detonated his car as police recruits exited the security barriers of a compound in the north-east of the city. A policeman informed Reuters of sighting “body parts scattered on the ground and boots and berets covered with blood” at the scene, as well as various vehicles burning.

As of yet, no group has accepted responsibility for the suicide bombing. However, Al-Qaeda characteristically uses attacks of this nature, according to The Daily Telegraph.

This attack is reportedly the deadliest in the country since 31 individuals were killed on January 27 as the result of a suicide bomb attack outside a Baghdad hospital, in which a vehicle filled with explosives was detonated.

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