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Australian Treasurer told to ‘try harder on welfare’

Saturday, April 2, 2005

A professor from Australia’s most prestigious university said yesterday that Australian Treasurer, Peter Costello, “must try harder on welfare.” Professor Bob Gregory of the Australian National University and leading economist said, “If people could not hide on disability and sole parent pensions then [Mr Costello] couldn’t claim credit for the fall in unemployment.”

“In my view, the Treasurer has to come out openly and say that he has not been able to produce full-time jobs at a sufficient rate to get people off welfare. Either he has to wait until the economy generates unskilled jobs or he has to play around with the wage system.”

Another report relating to the Australian Social Security system was released yesterday by researchers at the University of Melbourne. It found that care-givers who look after mentally ill dependents claim significantly less stress when they engaged in work outside the home.



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Deadly flooding in Pakistan kills hundreds

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The worst flooding in 80 years in Pakistan has left at least 800 people dead, and affected over a million more. The floods were caused by heavy monsoon rains and have destroyed homes in the country, especially in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department said that twelve inches of rain fell over a 36 hour period. Sohail Rahman, reporting for Al Jazeera from Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad, said that Islamabad experienced a “deluge of water” flowing south from Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. He went on to say that “floods have really affected the infrastructure in and around the province. The people in the affected areas were quite critical in the first 24 hours, saying that the authorities were not doing enough.”

Rescue operations have been hampered by the weather; while seventeen helicopters are operating, with more to come, they cannot operate in all areas due to the weather, and just 48 boats are available for use by rescue crews.

Earlier this week, bad weather shrouded Islamabad when a passenger plane crashed, killing all 152 on board.



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Public disclosure made of final report on deaths of nine in Finnish school shooting

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation yesterday released 600 pages of the 2,000 page final report into the Jokela school shooting. 18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen opened fire at Jokela High School, killing eight before turning his gun on himself, receiving fatal wounds.

The remaining 1,400 pages of the report are to remain confidential. The public section reveals a number of problems that may have impacted on Auvinen’s decision to conduct the attack, but says that police failed to find any conclusive motive. Also released was an animation depicting events at the school.

The report says Auvinen had been bullied since the age of ten and concludes the extent of this problem was greater than previously thought. Auvinen suffered from anxiety and blushing, especially in lessons, and had been diagnosed with a panic disorder, for which he had been prescribed medication. Auvinen also suffered from sleep disorders and loneliness, and had few friends, although one former bully did go on to become a good friend of Auvinen’s. His mother said inability to settle on a suitable ideology contributed to Auvinen’s depression.

His parents had noticed and reacted to the bullying problem, but their intervention only served to worsen the situation. According to entries in Auvinen’s diary, he first began planning the shooting – which he gave the English name “Operation Main Strike” – about eight months prior to actually conducting the shooting.

Auvinen had told his mother that under certain circumstances he could approve of violence. He had often viewed web sites promoting violence and had a number of online contacts whom he discussed his ideas with. One of these was a United States teen arrested for planning a similar attack, and two others discussed the Columbine High School Massacre with him and traded videos they found online. However, there is no evidence he informed anyone of his plans until immediately prior to the attack.

The report called Auvinen a moderately good student, but noted his mental problems had impacted his performance at school. He had been interested in politics from an early age, being involved with the Centre Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Left Alliance, and the Finnish Communist Party.

“In the best case, this (attack) would create massive destruction and chaos, or even a revolution,” read one diary entry. “In any case, I want this to be remembered forever. Maybe I’ll even have a follower; after all, I am a super-person, almost God.” Another revealed he intended to “kill as many of you bastards as possible”. His diary also reveals he was aware he would be dead by the end of the attack.

He obtained a .22 calliber handgun which he named Catherine, having been denied a license for a 9mm gun, and submitted his plans online – including to YouTube – just 14 minutes prior to firing his first shots, having cycled to school. It was determined that, given the time-frame, there was little that could have been done by anyone who saw the material to prevent the attack. He fired 75 shots, 50 of which struck his eight fatally wounded victims, who were apparently chosen at random. Thirteen others were injured in the event.

The deceased were six students, the school headmistress and the school nurse. Auvinen shot at each several times in the region of the head and upper torso. He ultimately shot himself in the school toilet, and died in hospital from head wounds ten hours later, having never regained consciousness.

Police could not determine why he chose the date he did, although it was noted his online relationship with a foreign girl had ended just days before. It was also determined little could be done to predict and prevent future incidents, although one measure being sought is to require medical checks for gun licences and parental consent for prospective owners under 18.

The confidential section of the report discusses causes of death and police operations.



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FOX to produce new ‘Futurama’ episodes

Friday, June 23, 2006

20th Century Fox will produce at least 13 new episodes of the animated series Futurama, scheduled to air on Comedy Central in 2008. Futurama, an animation from The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, was canceled by FOX in 2003.

Comedy Central has recently acquired the rights to the back catalogue of 72 Futurama episodes and any eventual new episodes.

“We are thrilled that Matt Groening and 20th Century Fox Television have decided to produce new episodes of ‘Futurama’ and that Comedy Central will be the first to air them,” announces Comedy Central senior vice president for programming David Bernath.

Voice actors Billy West (Fry, Professor Farnsworth), Katey Sagal (Leela) and John DiMaggio (Bender) are all contracted to return.



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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Blaise Thompson, St. Paul’s

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blaise Thompson is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the St. Paul’s riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.



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Wikinews interviews Dr. Robert Kelly and Dr. Jim Gill regarding joint scientific venture in North Korea

Sunday, September 8, 2013

File:Robert Kelly File Photo.JPG

A group of volcanologists from the UK and USA have traveled to North Korea to assist them with conducting scientific investigations and installing equipment near the volcano Mount Paektu.

Wikinews interviewed Dr. Robert Kelly of Pusan National University (PNU) in South Korea, who specialises in security and diplomacy and Dr. Jim Gill from the University of California who has visited the Chinese side of Mount Paektu.

((Wikinews)) Given that the UK, USA have strained political relations with North Korea, what is the purpose of these scientists working together?

Dr. Robert Kelly: Mt Paektu erupted massively about 1100 years ago and has been dormant since. Recently there has been seismic activity, and should it explode again, it could be gigantic — and devastating. It is everyone’s interest in East Asia to know about such a possibility, so this kind of cooperation can be above politics. But it is also always good to engage North Korea to try to draw them out. Such engagement can occur in nonpolitical, technical areas like this most easily.

((WN)) Does North Korea understand that it needs the specialism of British and American scientists to plan for when the volcano erupts?

RK: It does. North Korea does actually engage in various track II programming, including student and administrative exchanges. This is not well-known due to the nuclear issue however. The North Korean government is aware of its technological backwardness, and they often dangle concessions to other states in exchange for tech transfers like this.

((WN)) The North Korea underground nuclear test site is very close to the volcano, do you think this affected North–South Korean relations?

RK: Not very much. It does upset South Koreans somewhat, because Mt. Paektu is actually [a] national landmark. It is the mythological birthplace of the Korean people. And there is some scientific concern that major seismic activity could impact nuclear facilities.

((WN)) Do you think that the field work being carried out by the scientists, being near a militarised border is very difficult?

RK: No, because it is in the interest of all local parties — NK, Chinese, even Russian — that Mt. Paektu is properly monitored. Indeed, I could imagine that, behind the scenes, the Chinese pushed North Korea toward this cooperation, as this is somewhat unusual for NK.

((WN)) May the North Koreans be wary and suspicious of their British and American counterparts, given the secretiveness of the state?

RK: Absolutely. I have been to NK, and I can say positively that the scientists will be monitored and accompanied at all times they are away from their hotels. They will also be isolated from the NK wider population. They will only interact with specially chosen minders who speak excellent English and have proven their loyalty to the state. And there will be security personnel with them at all times outside their hotels too.

((WN)) Do you think that Western scientists collaborating together with the North Koreans could set as an example of political things to see in the future?

RK: Not really. I hope so, but North Korean[sic] has a tendency to pretend to open itself, and then to re-close after it gets what it wants. All sorts of interaction with North Korea gets hyped as ‘a new beginning’ or a ‘historic opening,’ only to come to naught. That does not mean it could not happen, just that I am skeptical. Instead, NK is likely to continue to interact when and where it has certain specific needs, as in this case. And that interaction will be tightly monitored. Fifteen years [ago], at the start of the Sunshine Policy by SK, there was hope that increased interaction would grow organically and slowly open up NK. That was the spirit behind the Kaesong industrial zone. But in fact, the North Koreans tightly controlled Kaesong to capture its gains and limit spillovers. I imagine the same will happen here.

((WN)) Do natural hazards pay attention to international political differences?

Dr. Jim Gill: Of course not.

((WN)) Is there a high risk and increased seismic activity in relation to Mount Paektu?

JG: Not currently. There was unrest at the volcano during 2002–05 but it has returned to normalcy.

((WN)) Would an eruption of Mount Paektu have consequences for multiple countries?

JG: Yes. The most likely widespread consequence will be an interuption of air traffic between North Asia and North America and Europe. More locally, the tourist industry on the Chinese side of the border will be very impacted. Most ash fall will be in the DPRK.
For perspective, there was an extremely large eruption of the volcano at about 940 AD — one of the largest historical eruptions anywhere on Earth. It is uncertain how often it has erupted since, and how large the eruptions were, but nothing has been big enough to cause serious problems scores of kilometers away. So yes there is risk — it is large mountain with a long history of eruptions — but nothing indicates a high level of concern now.



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Airbus offers funding to search for black boxes from Air France disaster

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Airbus have announced that they will be willing to contribute between €12 million and €20 million (about US$16 million to $28 million) to fund an extended search for the black boxes from Air France Flight 447. The Airbus A330 jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in June, killing all 228 people on board.

Chief executive Thomas Enders said in a statement, “We want to know what happened, as improving air safety is our top priority. We are fully committed to support the extension of the search with a significant contribution.” Although airframers normally supply technical assistance to investigations, the required impartiality makes funding rare, with Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath saying the company’s move was unprecedented.

“This is an exceptional accident and an exceptional situation,” Schaffrath explained. France’s investigative agency BEA has requested financial assistance for the search from both Airbus and Air France. Air France have discussed this possibility with the BEA.

Investigators have already given up looking for the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder using the conventional method of tracing audio ‘pingers’, the batteries of which would have expired after 30–40 days. Efforts are ongoing using sensitive equipment under tow from a French naval vessel, but if this search proves fruitless then the BEA will seek money for a further three-month search.

The jet’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was able to transmit information regarding problems on board prior to the crash. The ACARS data suggests that the plane had suffered from a loss of valuable readings including airspeed, leading suspicion to fall on the pitot-static system which supplies various measurements.

Airbus had already recommended that one component of this system, the pitot tubes, be replaced on A330s. Air France had not done this on the accident airplane although the entire fleet now features the modified design. Three other incidents have been identified since that may involve similar circumstances. The United States National Transportation Safety Board is probing two over American soil while earlier this month another Air France A330 equipped with the new tubes suffered a similar series of problems enroute from Italy to France.



How To Generate Extra Cash Online Money Making Ideas

By Amin Sadak

Besides making communication faster and more efficient, the internet has a variety of other purposes. One of which, you’d be very glad to know, could actually help you generate extra cash on the side.

Now, this is something that everyone could benefit from especially since quite a lot of people are working on tighter budgets due to the current state of the economy. Stay at home moms who want to help out with the family’s finances could certainly benefit from it as well because they can earn money without the need to leave home and their children.

There are plenty of online money making ideas out there. From creating your own money making product to helping others sell theirs whilst earning a significant commission on the side, there’s always something for everyone.

All you need is bit of free time, a computer and a stable internet connection. Now, in order to help you get started right, here are a few ideas which you could try.

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1. Affiliate Marketing. Let’s start easy. If you are not too keen on having to develop your own product and spending the money needed to create it then affiliate marketing is a good option for you. First off, it completely eliminates the need to create your own product to sell because you’ll be selling someone else’s.

To get started, find a good website where you’ll be able to sign up for various affiliate marketing programs provided by different merchants. These programs range from selling gadgets, fashion kitchenware and so on. Once you’re in, all you need to do is copy and paste the ads provided by the merchant and have those displayed on your blog. Now, for every person who clicks on that ad and gets redirected to the merchant’s website, you make a profit.

2. Freelancing Jobs. How about something that would have you relying on your skills? If you have spare time from work the why not maximize what you can do and take on freelancing jobs. There are quite a lot of them out there since many companies are constantly outsourcing small jobs since it is a lot cheaper.

All you need to do is create a portfolio or a resume and submit those to various freelance job openings. A lot of people are doing this and it is also considered to be one of the best online money making ideas available.

3. Create an E-book. Have knowledge to share? Well, create an e-book and profit from it. It doesn’t even have to be technology related. It could be about cooking, raising children, fashion or even making relationships work. The point is to create a money making product that plenty of people would be interested in and at the same time, something that you’re passionate about.

After all, when it comes to writing a book even an electronic one, you need to be able to grab the reader’s attention by showing them that you know what you’re talking about.

So there it is, three different online money making ideas that should help you get started with brainstorming and finding the best opportunity for yourself. Good luck!

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