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India: Maharashtra plastic ban comes into force

Monday, June 25, 2018

On Saturday, the plastic ban in the Indian state of Maharashtra came into force. In an attempt to minimise pollution, the state government has introduced a ban on single-use plastics.

The leader of the Yuya Sena political party, Aaditya Thackeray, said on Twitter, “The ban on single use disposable plastic cups, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic plates and cutlery, styrofoam cutlery and non woven bags”. He added, “these are global issues now and we have taken a step to combat it”.

Plastic pollution has led to the choking of drains, marine pollution and a risk of animals consuming plastics. This year, India’s motto for World Environment Day — June 5 — was “Beat Plastic Pollution”. People violating the plastic ban are to face a fine of 5,000 Indian Rupees (INR) for the first offence. For the second offence, the fine is INR 10,000 and the third time offence is INR 25,000 and a three-month prison term. Deputy municipal commissioner Nidhi Choudhary said, “To weed out corruption, we plan to give inspectors payment gadgets for electronic receipts of the fines”.

The Maharashtra government has given a 90-day period for manufacturers to dispose of existing polyethylene terephthalate (PET/PETE) plastic spoons and plates, while shopkeepers and citizens in general have six months to dispose of plastics. However, the ban does not prohibit plastic usage for wrapping medicines or milk cartons thicker than 50 microns.

The state government had announced the decision for the plastic ban on March 23. According to NDTV’s report, Maharashtra is the eighteenth Indian state to enforce a state-wide plastic ban. Aaditya Thackeray also said, “I congratulate the citizens for making this into a movement, even before the ban was enforceable, giving up single use disposable plastic.”



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Crude oil passes US$94.00 a barrel; sets new all-time record high

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another record has been set in crude oil prices. The price of oil soared past US$94.00 a barrel. New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) crude oil for December delivery closed at US$94.23 per barrel, after peaking at $94.74, the highest price on record. In after hours trading futures have crossed over the $95.00 per barrel mark.

On the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), December Brent Crude also rose to a record $90.63 after touching an all-time high of $90.94 with current futures are trading at over $91.00 a barrel.

Today’s rise is said to be mainly caused by the United States Department of Energy‘s inventory report that showed an unexpected drop in crude oil stockpiles. Last week, U.S. stockpiles were down nearly four million barrels of oil.

Tropical Storm Noel is also believed to be a cause of rising prices. Because of the storm, one-fifth of Mexico’s oil production was suspended while the storm passed, but production is expected to resume by the end of today.



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Failed UK suicide bomber Mohamed Saeed-Alim aka Nicky Reilly dies

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mohammed Rashid Saeed-Alim, a failed English suicide bomber better known by his birth name Nicky Reilly, has died while serving a life sentence. He was 30.

Originally from Plymouth, Alim attempted to bomb the Giraffe restaurant in Exeter in 2008 when he was 22. He used glass bottles filled with nails, caustic soda, and paraffin but one went off prematurely as he prepared them in the restaurant’s bathroom.

Alim was hospitalised with facial wounds that required skin grafts, then prosecuted for the bombing. He admitted attempted murder and preparing an act of terrorism later that year and was sentenced to life with a minimum term of eighteen years. He had considered alternative targets including a police station.

Alim had a mental age of around ten. He also had Asperger’s syndrome and his mother said he had been manipulated by others. Police said at the time he discussed his plans online and they suspected Pakistani individuals to be responsible for his radicalisation following conversion to Islam. Alim himself left a note in his bedroom saying amongst other things he had not been manipulated. His mother pursued a complaint against police in 2010 over claims he had told people of his plans to perform a bombing but police allegedly ignored this.

His body was found on Wednesday at HMP Manchester. Greater Manchester Police said there were “no suspicious circumstances” while the Prison Service simply noted the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will carry out a routine investigation. The Plymouth Herald reported unconfirmed claims Alim was found hanged.

Alim served most of his sentence at Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital. This July he was sentenced for an attack on Broadmoor nurses with an accomplice. The pair used mugs and snapped DVDs as weapons after a change to rules on group Muslim prayers. One of the victims was Muslim.

Last year Kazi Islam, 19, was sentenced to eight years after being convicted of trying to pressure an autistic man into building a pipe bomb. Islam said he was inspired by Alim’s case.



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Sydney’s ‘Angel of The Gap’ dies after decades rescuing the suicidal

Monday, May 14, 2012

Australian man Don Ritchie, dubbed the “Angel of The Gap”, has died. He earned his nickname after spending decades talking people out of jumping from The Gap, a cliff famed as a suicide spot beside his house in Watsons Bay, Sydney.

Credited with at least 160 rescues, though his family suggest the true figure is 500, reports carry conflicting values of Ritchie’s age; he was in his mid eighties. He moved to a house beside The Gap in 1964 and lived there the rest of his life, quickly earning his first award after tackling a man who was about to jump. At first he held back would-be jumpers whilst his wife summoned help, but then took to approaching them with his palms out and saying simply “Is there something I could do to help you?”

Ritchie had no relevant formal training, but he said last year to “Never be afraid to speak to those who you feel are in need. Always remember the power of the simple smile, a helping hand, a listening ear and a kind word.” According to his daughter, Sue Ritchie Bereny, “that was all that was often needed to turn people around, and he would say not to underestimate the power of a kind word and a smile.” He would then “bring people back to our place for a cup of tea and breakfast.”

I was a salesman for most of my life, and I sold them life

Rewarded last year with a Local Hero Award from the National Australia Day Council, Ritchie explained “You couldn’t just sit here and watch them. I mean, I couldn’t. So I would go out and try and help them.” He and his wife Monica were named Citizens of the Year by Woollahra Council in 2010.

Ritchie often clutched at those who jumped in an effort to hold them back. He recently described to The Sydney Morning Herald one nineteen-year-old who was friends with Ritchie’s grandchildren; “He said ‘no’ and stepped straight off the side. His hat blew up and I caught it in my hand.” Much of his time was spent watching the cliff for those in distress; Bereny noted his “sensitivity, he could read some people needed help.”

He said ‘no’ and stepped straight off the side. His hat blew up and I caught it in my hand.

Ritchie’s “courage delivered small miracles,” said Cr Susan Wynne, Mayor of Woollahra. National Australia Day Council’s interim head Tam Johnston has issued a statement saying “Don’s story touched the hearts of all Australians and challenged each of us to rethink what it means to be a good neighbour… Don was a true gentleman with a smile that could light up the room.” Local politician Malcolm Turnbull, who united with Ritchie and mental health workers to demand suicide prevention measures at The Gap, said “His work lives on forever not just in the lives of those he saved but in his heroism and example of public service.”

Diane Gaddin, whose daughter killed herself at The Gap and who works to prevent suicide, called him “a beacon and inspiration to not only us in Australia but the world because it takes courage, bravery, tenacity… he was a gentle, persuasive man who offered them hope with warm, embracing words.” She describes the former life insurance salesman, who also served in the navy, as saying “I was a salesman for most of my life, and I sold them life.” She said he advised those faced with the suicidal to “Smile. Be friendly and say can I help you in some way.”

Ritchie died on Sunday local time at St Vincent’s Hospital, with his wife, three daughters, and four grandchildren by his side.



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Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”



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Creator of G.I. Joe action figure to create a line of Bible-themed toys

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

According to the Christian Post, Don Levine, the creator of the G.I. Joe, will be creating a line of action figures based on characters from the Old Testament. Released this month are action figures of Samson, David, Noah, Moses, and dolls of Queen Esther and Deborah the Warrior. The toys come with their own Bible storybook. By the fall, the line will expand to 35 products. Levine has began developing a DVD series and television show.

While certainly not the first action figures, dolls, or animated programs based on Biblical characters, it is perhaps the first to launch with a full-fledged licensing program. Already a comic book, narrated CDs, wallet, flashing pins, dog tags, and necklaces have been released.

Levine created G.I. Joe for Mattel in 1963, after a licensing agent suggested soldier figures might have the same success as their Barbie line.



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Penske Auto selected to buy General Motors’ Saturn unit

Friday, June 5, 2009

General Motors Corporation (GM), an American automaker which has filed for bankruptcy protection, announced on Friday that the Penske Automotive Group (PAG) was selected to purchase Saturn Corporation. The transaction should be completed in October.

The purchase includes rights to the Saturn brand, its five current models and its dealership network. Two models would be discontinued, the Sky and Astra. GM would continue building the Aura sedan, the SUV’s, Vue and Outlook for at least two more years.

Saturn has 350 dealers across the United States. The dealers employ more than 13,000 jobs and sell only the Saturn autos. Canadian Saturn dealers are not included in the deal.

According to Penske future Saturn vehicles will be fuel economy focused. An expert indicated that this would move Saturn back to its roots of a entry level car company. PAG is in talks with several international automakers to replace GM after 2011. Automotive News reports that Renault Samsung Motors of Korea is the most likely candidate.

Penske wants Jill Lajdziak, Saturn’s general manager, and Tom LaSorda, former Chrysler President to head up the company when it is independent of GM.

Serra Automotive in Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County, Michigan, is in talks to take a partial ownership in a new Saturn lead by Penske.



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On the campaign trail in the USA, July 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The following is the third edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: two individuals previously interviewed by Wikinews announce their candidacies for the Reform Party presidential nomination; a former Republican Congressman comments on the Republican National Convention; and Wikinews interviews an historic Democratic National Convention speaker.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
    • 1.1 RNC
    • 1.2 DNC
  • 2 Reform Party race features two Wikinews interviewees
  • 3 Former Congressman responds to Cruz RNC speech
  • 4 Wikinews interviews history-making DNC speaker
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources


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Software giant Adobe Systems to acquire Magento Commerce for US$1.68 billion

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

On Monday, San Jose, California, US-based software company Adobe Systems announced their plans to acquire California-based e-commerce handling web service Magento Commerce for 1.68 billion US dollars (USD). After Adobe made the announcement via their official website, Adobe’s stocks rose by around one percent, ending Monday extended trading at USD 238.10 per share.

Magento provides services for the creation of digital ads and handling of online transactions. Magento’s services are used by Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Warner Music, and Canon. The acquisition, which is expected to take place in the third fiscal quarter of this year, is to be an all-cash deal. Adobe is to acquire Magento from Permira equity firm. In 2015, Permira bought Magento from eBay, an eCommerce website. Adobe, in their official statement, said, “Magento Commerce Cloud will enable commerce to be seamlessly integrated into the Adobe Experience Cloud”.

Adobe also announced a buyback of shares worth USD eight billion by 2021. Magento’s CEO Mark Lavelle said, “Adobe and Magento share a vision for the future of digital experiences that brings together Adobe’s strength in content and data with Magento’s open commerce innovation […] We’re excited to join Adobe and believe this will be a great opportunity for our customers, partners and developer community”.

After the announcement, stocks of Magento’s competitors Shopify, Inc dropped by about 4.8%. They finished extended trading at USD 137.60 after the announcement.



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Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.