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Australians unite against whaling in Southern Ocean

Wednesday, January 18, 2006File:Greenpeace Vessels Esperanza and Arctic Sun.jpg

Anti-whaling protesters have joined forces across Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the U.S.A calling for an end to the killing of whales for meat by Japan. Greenpeace organised the international day of action as it continued its efforts to disrupt the hunting of minke whales by the Japanese whaling fleet currently in the Southern Ocean.

The day of action was being marked to protest the actions of the fleet which protesters believe violate the 1986 International Whaling Commission (IWC) global ban on commercial whaling. Japan’s JARPA Japanese Whale Research Program was allowed to operate under a Special Permit in the Antarctic according to Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. In its JARPA-2 plan, Japan plans to double its annual scientific research catch of Minke whales to 935, and to add 10 Fin whales to its quota. The International Fund for Animal Welfare states that over the next two years, Japan plans to kill 50 endangered Humpback whales and an additional 40 fin whales.



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Five biggest US banks told to raise $74.6 billion; fail “stress tests”

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The five largest United States banks need a total of US$74.6 billion in extra funds to increase their cash reserves, according to so-called “stress tests” conducted by regulators to determine whether the banks have enough capital to survive the ongoing recession.

“Our hope with today’s actions is that banks are going to be able to get back to the business of banking,” said Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary.

The results of the stress-test determined that Bank of America was the bank most at risk, needing $33.9 billion. Wells Fargo will require an additional $13.7 billion, while GMAC needs $11.5 billion.

Seven other banks failed the “stress test”, including: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Regions Financial, SunTrust Banks, KeyCorp, Fifth Third Bancorp, and PNC Financial Services.

Nine other banks that underwent stress tests, such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon, MetLife, American Express, State Street, BB&T, US Bancorp and Capital One Financial, were found to have enough capital in case the recession deepens.

Those banks that need extra money will be set a June 8 deadline to draw up their plans to raise the additional capital and have regulators approve them.



Visit The Body Shop In Winchester, Va For Collision Repairs

byAlma Abell

When involved in a car accident, unless the vehicle is a complete write-off, it will need repairs, and these should be done as soon as possible following an accident. It will be necessary to report the accident to the insurance company, who will in turn deal with the insurer that the other party involved in the accident is covered by. The next step is to get an estimate for the cost of repairs to the vehicle. Repairs could be as simple as removing minor dents and scratches to straightening out frames and repainting vehicles. These are repairs that need to be done by professionals who are trained in auto body work in order to get the absolute best results.

An estimate from the Body Shop in Winchester VA is done with a thorough examination of the vehicle. The mechanics will look at all things wrong with the vehicle, even things that are have nothing to do with the accident. They will let the customer know what repairs are necessary due to the accident, and have things itemized so the insurance company will have an exact list of repairs that they need to pay for. Once the estimate has been completed, the vehicle will be taken apart to check for any problems that weren’t visible during the initial inspection. At this point, all necessary parts for the accident repairs will be ordered, as well as any parts for other issues that the customer will pay for themselves.

Body repair will involve many steps in order to make the vehicle look as it did before the accident. Body panels will be repaired or replaced, and when necessary, mechanical parts will be repaired or replaced, including tires and suspension systems. Once all of the repairs have been completed, the vehicle will be painted to match the original color, and it will be ready to go back out on the road. The insurance company will either pay for the repairs directly, or the customer will pay and be reimbursed by their insurer. All work from the body shop in Winchester VA is fully guaranteed, and many repair and auto body services are offered.



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Dozens killed after gunmen storm Turkish wedding reception

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

As many as 45 people have been killed and six others were injured after at least four gunmen with grenades stormed a wedding reception in the village of Bilge located in Turkey. Many of those killed were women and children. The attack is not believed to be related to terrorism.

“According to our investigations so far nothing indicates that this is a terror attack but a larger investigation is being run by the regional prosecutor,” said the interior minister of Turkey, Besir Atalay. The attack is believed to be part of an ongoing blood feud between two families. Al Jazeera says the attack may also be related to rival gangs of village guards.

According to one unnamed witness as quoted by Reuters, “a few people” wearing masks entered the house where the reception was being held, “spraying the place with bullets” and began to shoot people, with the attack lasting at nearly 15 minutes. At least 200 people were believed to have been attending the reception.



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Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn
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

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Buffalo, New York —According to the developer Savarino Construction Services Corporation, the proposed Elmwood Village Hotel which would be placed on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York has been withdrawn from the city’s Planning Board and Common Council and will undergo a “do over”; however, Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino says that the proposal will be resubmitted, from scratch by the end of next week.

The hotel would require the demolition of at least five properties, 1109-1121 Elmwood and would cause the closure of several businesses. Already, two businesses, Skunk Tail Glass and Six Nations Native American Gift Shop have relocated, outside the Elmwood Strip. Don apparel, H.O.D. Tattoo and Mondo Video still remain on Elmwood; however, Mondo Video is planning on moving to a new location. The hotel will be 72 rooms and will cost at least 7 million dollars to build.

“We’re lovers, not fighters. Our energies should be spent on developing a really wonderful project, not wasted in court. We’ll start over with a clean slate and take as much time as necessary to hear people out and end up with a very positive project for the neighborhood,” said President of Savarino Construction, Sam Savarino.

The hotel will not undergo any major changes in its design says Savarino. “We would anticipate little if any physical change to the plans.” He also alleges that the issues with the hotel were not with the design or the proposal and also says that the hotel is still right for the intersection.

“The perceived problem was with the process, not the proposal itself. We believe this is the right thing to do on that corner,” added Savarino.

According to the Buffalo News, the projects resubmission is aimed to “shed the lawsuits” against the proposal. The Buffalo News also claims that the Common Council members are all still “in favor of the project.” The proposal was unanimously passed by the council on March 21, 2006.

Attorney Arthur J. Giacalone who represents the plaintiffs, Nancy Pollina and Patricia Morris, who operate Don Apparel (a vintage clothing and collectibles shop at 1119 Elmwood Avenue), Angeline Genovese and Evelyn Bencinich, owners of residences on Granger Place which abut the rear of the proposed site, Nina Freudenheim, a resident of nearby Penhurst Park, and Sandra Girage, the owner of a two-family residence on Forest Avenue less than a hundred feet from the proposed hotel’s sole entrance and exit driveway, says that the hotel proposal was “inappropriately rushed,” but some council members disagree. Defendants in the lawsuit against the hotel are, Buffalo’s Common Council and Planning Board, Mayor of Buffalo, Byron W. Brown, Savarino Construction Services Corporation, Hans J. Mobius and his son Hans S. Mobius owners of the properties at stake, Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant on Elmwood, and Cendant Corporation, the parent company of Wyndham Hotels, which will be, according to Savarino, the hotel operator. Attorney David State is representing the city, Planning Board, Mayor Byron Brown and the Common Council.

“I don’t think it was a rush job,” said Dominic J. Bonifacio Jr., the council’s Majority Leader.He also alleges that the only way to make “it [the hotel] a better project and ease the concerns of some neighbors would be to find a way to provide more parking.”

In an exclusive phone interview with Wikinews, Giacalone states that the lawsuit against the hotel and the city “will not be moved [withdrawn] unless the Common Council resins their [prior] decisions in passing the proposal.” Giacalone also says that Savarino has yet to submit any new plans for the proposal to the city. He also says that he “still plans to represent all plaintiffs” if they wish to continue with the suit and the use of his services.

Giacalone rescheduled the preliminary hearing which is “still in place” for July 27, 2006. When asked if the properties are still owned by Mobius, Giacalone replied “yes” and that according to attorney Bob Knoer, the Lawyer representing Hans Mobius, the owner of the properties that could be demolished, there is “no contract between Savarino” and that Mobius “plans to put the properties back on the market.” Mobius has not returned phone calls or e-mails and has not yet commented on the situation or the proposal itself. The city denies these claims.

In an exclusive phone interview by Wikinews, area councilman Joseph Golombek states that the reason for the resubmission of the proposal was due to “a mistake in the Planning process” and that none of the council members have “indicated that they have changed their opinions on the hotel” and still remain in favor of the project.

“I still think the Hotel is a good idea for that part of Elmwood. For Elmwood to stay strong and vibrant it must continue to grow and adapt to change. It is a different community than it was twenty years ago and will be different in another twenty years. The opponents of the Hotel have the opportunity to challenge it and are doing that. Even though I disagree with them I am glad there is a safety mechanism for people who disagree with government. We need to keep moving forward,” added Golombek.

Supporters of the hotel proposal are planning on holding a rally to support the new development. WNYmedia.net claims that the first rally will be held to support the hotel proposal on July 17, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. on Elmwood and Forest, on the site of the proposed location. According to WNYmedia.net they “are tired of the anti development crowd in Western New York.” They also blast opponents of the hotel proposal calling them “bananas” and “nimbys.” People opposed to the hotel proposal are planning on “counter attacking” with their own protest on the same day and time.

==Sources==

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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Hidden treasure worth billions of dollars discovered in Indian temple

Monday, July 4, 2011

Officials announced that a treasure containing sacks of diamonds and gold coins as well as golden idols, jewelry and other riches has been discovered in the secret subterranean vaults of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, in the southwestern state of Kerala, India. Estimates of its worth have been rising and it is now thought to be worth US$20 billion.

The Hindu temple was built in the 16th century by the kings of the then Kingdom of Travancore to serve as a royal chapel for the rulers of Travancore. The six vaults containing the treasure have been undisturbed for over a century. Assessment of the treasure began on June 27 after a lawyer concerned about the security of the treasure petitioned India’s Supreme Court, which then appointed a seven-member panel of experts to inventory the treasure. The panel does not have the power to determine to whom the treasure will belong. Estimates of the treasure’s worth are rising, provoking a heated debate as to how the treasure will be used in a country that has 450 million poverty-stricken people.

The chief minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, announced on Sunday the treasure would remain with the temple, and security matters would be decided in consultation with the Travancore Royal Family, the temple management, and the temple priest.

The gold was offered to the lord. It is the property of the temple.

“The gold was offered to the lord. It is the property of the temple. The government will protect the wealth at the temple,” Oommen Chandy said. Meanwhile, hundreds of armed police have been deployed around the temple to protect the treasure.

However, the view that the treasure should remain at the temple has been disputed. Among the dissenters is eminent jurist V R Krishna Iyer, who said the treasure should be put in a national trust for the peoples’ benefit. “God’s wealth belongs to the people, not to the king. It’s meaningless to say that it belongs to Hindus or any particular religious community,” said Iyer. “A mechanism should be devised to ensure that the benefits of it reach the poor and the needy and not the rich.”

Five of the six vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple have been inventoried.

God’s wealth belongs to the people, not to the king. It’s meaningless to say that it belongs to Hindus or any particular religious community.

On Saturday, reports leaked to the press revealed that the treasure, including a golden idol of Mahavishnu and a golden ‘anki’, were found in one of the vaults, estimated to weigh 30 kilograms, along with precious stones, silver, two coconut shells of pure gold and another golden idol as well as other jewels and valuable coins. The panel hopes to find more treasure when the sixth and final vault is opened, but the attempt was suspended on Monday because the iron door inside presented “technical problems” requiring further consultation before opening. This vault is thought to contain the bulk of the wealth.

Keralan officials in a preliminary estimate said that the treasure was worth over US$11.2 billion; those estimates have now risen to US$20 billion. Historians say that the temple’s location on a site through which passed lucrative trade routes support the higher evaluations.

“Traders, who used to come from other parts of the country and abroad for buying spices and other commodities, used to make handsome offerings to the deity for not only his blessings but also to please the then rulers,” said P.J. Cherian, the director of Kerala Council for Historic Research

Some suggest that the profit from the sale of the treasure would be enough to wipe out the entire public debt of Kerala and fund future Kerala projects such as seaports, airports and highways.



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Tokelau voters reject self-rule

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The people of Tokelau have rejected greater independence from New Zealand in a referendum held this week. 60% of the eligible voters voted “yes” to become an independent state in free association with New Zealand, but this failed to reach the two thirds support required to take effect. The turnout for the referendum was high, reaching almost 95% of registered voters.

Tokelau, a 12 square-kilometre archipelago with a population of 1,500, consists of three islands that do not have roads, an airport or a capital. It is a dependent territory of New Zealand, but New Zealand’s Prime Minister said Tokelau is already “exercising virtually all the responsibilities of a self governing country”. According to the UN and New Zealand, Tokelau would have relied heavily on New Zealand for financial assistance even if independence had been chosen.



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India urges peaceful settlement of disputes at South China Sea

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

As the tensions continue to grow over the disputes in the South China Sea, External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj asked on Sunday for all nations involved to resolve this issue in a peaceful and coherent manner.

Addressing the fourth East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Form (ARF) in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on Sunday, she said “India opposes the use or threat of use of force” and backs the freedom of navigation with due acceptance of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. She further emphasised India urges for the implementation of the guidelines within the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

A petroleum company based in India, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), operates in a number of oil blocks under South China Sea with consent of Vietnam, in the same Phu Khanh basin. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) identified that basin as potentially containing large hydrocarbon deposits. India’s ONGC was given exploration permits in blocks 127 and 128; there are already drilling operations of US’s ExxonMobil, three permits; and Australian Santos, in block 123; as well as other operators such as Origin Energy, Chevron, Plains Exploration and Neon Energy.

China has objected against the Indian presence, calling for foreign countries to stay out of the South China Sea, maintaining China’s claims there as indisputable. China’s sweeping sovereignty claims in the South China Sea clash with several ASEAN nations such as Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.



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American actor Morgan Freeman in serious condition after car accident

Monday, August 4, 2008

American Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is in reported to be in serious condition but good spirits in a Tennessee hospital following a single car accident in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi in the Mississippi Delta. The 71-year-old actor was flown to the hospital by air ambulance with injuries to one arm.

Freeman, the Associated Press reports, “has a broken arm, broken elbow and minor shoulder damage, but is in good spirits,” according to a statement from Donna Lee, Freeman’s publicist.

Reports say that Freeman was driving Demaris Meyer — the owner of the 1997 Nissan Maxima — when the car flipped over two or three times around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night. Meyer’s condition has not been released. Meyers is reported to be a 48 year old family friend visiting from Memphis.

According to reports, Freeman over-corrected the vehicle when he may have dozed and began to go off the highway, causing the car to flip two or three times before landing in a ditch. The accident occurred on Highway 32 just north of Ruleville, Mississippi not far from where Freeman currently resides.

Clay McFerrin, editor of the Sun Sentinel in Charleston, told the Associated Press he arrived at the accident scene soon after the accident. “They had to use the jaws of life to extract him from the vehicle,” McFerrin told the Associated Press. “He was lucid, conscious. He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point.”

Freeman was one of the stars of the recent film The Dark Knight and is currently being treated at Memphis Regional Medical Center along with Meyer. Spokeswoman Kathy Stringer says that “Freeman is in a serious condition,” but did not comment further. The hospital, known locally as “The Med” is an acute care facility for up to 150 patients.

According to Sgt. Ben Williams of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, “there’s no indication that either alcohol or drugs were involved” in causing the accident. He also said that both Freeman and Meyer were wearing their safety belts.



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Sam’s Club to cut 11,000 jobs

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sam’s Club, operated by Wal-Mart Stores, has announced that it will be cutting about 11,000 jobs, most of which are product-demo part-time jobs. The announcement was made by Sam’s Club’s President and Chief Executive Brian Cornell.

The president commented that the move was intended to increase sales and customer loyalty, and not to lower costs. “Operationally, we see this as a net neutral,” he said. Cornell said he believes a large part of of the fired workers would be hired by Shopper Events LLC of Rogers, Arkansas, a marketing firm.

In addition to the cuts, Sam’s Club said it would be outsourcing its in-store product demonstration and sampling to a third-party firm, the marketing company Shopper Events.



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