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US financier Madoff to remain free on bail

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A federal court in New York, New York ruled Monday that American financier Bernard Madoff can remain free on a US$10 million bond. Madoff faces charges of securities fraud in case that may reveal losses as large as US$50 billion. He was originally arrested on December 11, 2008.

Federal prosecutors had argued that Madoff had violated terms of his bail by mailing valuables to relatives from his Manhattan apartment, where he is under house arrest.

Judge Ronald L. Ellis ruled that, “The government fails to provide sufficient evidence that any potential future dissemination of Madoff’s assets would rise to the level of an economic harm.”

The judge, however, did say that “it is appropriate that his ability to transfer property be restricted as completely as possible.” Madoff will be required to submit a complete inventory of items in his apartment.

A Wall Street adviser, Madoff was arrested and charged by the FBI last December with a single count of securities fraud, also known as stock fraud and investment fraud. He allegedly told senior employees of his firm on December 10, that his business “is all just one big lie” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme [since at least 2005].”

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US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%

Friday, October 2, 2009

Companies in the United States are shedding more jobs, pushing the country’s unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8%.

The US Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, with companies in the service industries — including banks, restaurants and retailers — hit especially hard. This is the 21st consecutive month of job losses in the country.

The United States has now lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession officially began in December 2007. The new data has sparked fears that unemployment could threaten an economic recovery. Top US officials have warned that any recovery would be slow and uneven, and some have predicted the unemployment rate will top 10% before the situation improves.

“Continued household deleveraging and rising unemployment may weigh more on consumption than forecast, and accelerating corporate and commercial property defaults could slow the improvement in financial conditions,” read a report by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, predicting that unemployment will average 10.1% by next year and not go back down to five percent until 2014.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, said that “it’s a very fragile and tentative recovery. Policy makers need to do more.”

“The number came in weaker than expected. We saw a lot of artificial involvement by the government to prop up the markets, and now that that is starting to end, the private sector isn’t yet showing signs of life,” said Kevin Caron, a market strategist for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Also on Thursday, the US Commerce Department said factory orders fell for the first time in five months, dropping eight-tenths of a percent in August. Orders for durable goods — items intended to last several years (including everything from appliances to airliners) — fell 2.6%, the largest drop since January of this year.

The US government has been spending billions of dollars — part of a $787 billion stimulus package — to help spark economic growth. There have been some signs the economy is improving.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that spending on home construction jumped in August for its biggest increase in 16 years. A real estate trade group, the National Association of Realtors, said pending sales of previously owned homes rose more than 12 percent in August, compared to August 2008.

A separate Commerce Department report said that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose at its fastest pace in nearly eight years, jumping 1.3 percent in August.

Other reports have provided cause for concern. A banking industry trade group said Thursday the number of US consumers making late payments, or failing to make payments, on loans and credit cards is on the rise. A survey by a business group, the Institute for Supply Management, Thursday showed US manufacturing grew in September, but at a slower pace than in August when manufacturing increased for the first time in a year and a half.

Stock markets reacted negatively to the reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points in early trading, reaching a level of 9467. This follows a drop of 203 points on Thursday, its largest loss in a single day since July. The London FTSE index fell 55 points, or 1.1%, to reach 4993 points by 15.00 local time.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Cecile Willert, Ajax—Pickering

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cecile Willert is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Ajax—Pickering riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her 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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Land conflict mars Good Friday in Jerusalem

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A conflict erupted between Greek Orthodox monks and Arab Christians in Jerusalem on Good Friday, as the Arab Christians protested the monks’ sale of church land to Jewish residents.

Israeli police broke up the protest near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Omar Harani, a 25-year-old leading the protesters, told the Telegraph, “We gave the land 2,000 years ago to the Church to look after,” and continued, “So it is not their land to sell. For hundreds of years we Christians, who used to be 15 per cent of the population, have been persecuted and driven out of the Holy Land and now we are a tiny minority. But we will make our voice heard to stop this sale.”

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Nurseries not harmful to children, says new UK study

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A new study by a professor at the University of Oxford has concluded that attending nursery school does not have harmful effects upon “the vast majority” of children under two years old. The research contrasts with the views of other writers in the field, who argue that pre-school children achieve the best results when cared for by their parents full-time.

Kathy Sylva, Professor of Educational Psychology at the university, has based her findings upon data from the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education Project. This has been running since 1996, tracking the development of 3,000 children to discover the effects upon their development of pre-school care and education.

Sylva told The Sunday Times that “[a] lot of parents worry unnecessarily about this issue but my research shows that the vast majority of children are not impaired on any measure by attending nursery under the age of two”, although she admits that there is an increased risk for children from deprived background, and for boys. Those attending better-quality nurseries go on to make better relationships when they start school, she says, and urges parents to check the standards of nurseries for themselves.

Her conclusions come in the wake of a vast expansion in nursery care provision in the United Kingdom in recent years, aimed at getting mothers of young children back to work. One study states that 5% of “middle-class” parents in Britain put their children in full-time nursery care.

According to others such as the child psychologist Oliver James, however, full-time care by parents gives the best results for children. James states that there is evidence that nursery care is “highly stressful and can be harmful”, since levels of the hormone cortisol double after one hour in day care, and raised levels can be detected for some months afterwards. Sylva agrees, though, that some children who attend nursery before they are two are slightly more aggressive at primary school – a finding in line with other research – but says that this aggression disappears by the time the child reaches eleven.

Sylva, a Professorial Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, was awarded the OBE in 2008. She is a former special advisor to the UK House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Max Lombardi running in Cambridge

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party candidate Max Lombardi is standing for election in the riding of Cambridge. Lombardi is an information technology specialist who has lived in Cambridge for 25 years.

Held since 2004 by Conservative Gary Goodyear, the riding of Cambridge includes the city of Cambridge, Ontario and the Township of North Dumfries, Ontario. Also running in the riding are Gord Zeilstra (Liberal) and Scott Cosman (Green).

Wikinews contacted Max Lombardi, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

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Tennessee town mulls ‘stop work order’ as construction of controversial grain tanks begins

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Mayor Scott Jewell of the city of Dyer, Tennessee did not issue a “stop work order” to Dyer Grain Company late Tuesday afternoon as had been expected. The order would have temporarily halted construction of new grain storage tanks.

Dyer Grain’s efforts at expansion have been blocked several times over the past few years both by zoning restrictions on the height of structures and by citizens groups who filed suit against the grain company and the city’s board of zoning appeals. The lawsuit was dismissed two months ago. The Dyer City Council then amended the zoning ordinance to include “grain storage tanks and bins” in a section of the ordinance listing exclusions, such as free standing spires and towers, to the regular 40 foot height restriction on buildings.

Several citizens spoke at the November 28 city council meeting to address alleged deficiencies in the building permit issued to Dyer Grain. The citizens claimed that according to the site plan filed with the application for the permit, the location of the tanks will violate another provision in the zoning ordinance restricting the height of all structures to the distance from surrounding property lines plus ten feet. The citizens were also concerned over a “grain conveyor” that will cross a city street. Mayor Jewell indicated that he would contact the Gibson County building inspector (who is contracted by the city to act as the municipal inspector) to research the citizens’ concerns.

Jewell contacted Ricky Bailey, Gibson County Building inspector, on Wednesday. Bailey reportedly could find no deficiencies with the permit and, based on this advice, Jewell chose not to issue the stop work order himself. The City Council could still meet and vote to issue the order. The council meets the second Monday of each month.

“The main problem is that the grain company is in an industrial zone — which is located smack in the middle of a low-density residential zone.” Nathan Reed, an elected Alderman of Dyer said, “The property values in the area have increased (with inflation) but not at the same rate as other properties.”

Normal buildings, such as offices and warehouses, can’t exceed 40′ plus 10′ to the eave. The requested change in the ordinance changes the status of the towers from a building to the same status of an antenna or tower.

Mr Reed added, “The height to the eave is 76′, the height to the top of the tank is 105′, the height to the top of the elevator (atop the tank) is 133′. The 133′ is the only measurement that matters now because the change to the zoning ordinance means this is no longer a “building”, but rather the same as an antenna or tower.”

“The grain company specifically requested that change to the ordinace — which was opposed by several citizens…They can build it as high as they like so long as it conforms to the overal height restriction for towers, spires, etc.”

Mr Reed commented on additional concerns, “The citizens are concerned about the health effects of (additional) grain dust, noise, and grain explosions.”

The new construction is expected to generate annual property tax revenues of $10,000 to $16,000.

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Fire burns at Barangaroo construction site, Sydney, Australia

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A large fire has started at the Barangaroo construction site overlooking Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. The construction company said fire broke out at about 2:10pm local time (0310 UTC) and appeared to have been caused by a welding accident in the basement of a building.

All site workers were evacuated without injury, according to Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Ian Krimmer. Large clouds of smoke were continuing to pour out of the building, casting a thick pall of smoke over the city skyline. Some nearby buildings have also been evacuated, including the KPMG building and offices of the Macquarie Bank.

Firefighters reported concern about a tower crane overhanging the building basement site. There were fears that the crane could buckle due to the heat and collapse. Firefighters were working to keep the base of the crane cool, and the stability of the structure was being monitored with lasers.

The Western Distributor motorway was closed to traffic, and Sydney Harbour Bridge partly closed. There had been major disruptions in traffic and multiple roads in the Sydney CBD (Central Business District) were gridlocked. People catching buses were advised to expect long delays.

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Common Sense Advisory announces size of worldwide translation and localization market and ranking of top 20 language services companies

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Common Sense Advisory, Inc., an independent business globalization, internationalization, and localization and translation research and consulting firm, announces the release of its list of the top 20 language service providers (LSPs) and its estimate of the size of worldwide translation and software localization market. The list, which includes Lionbridge (LIOX) and L-3/Titan (LLL) is based on the firm’s Human Delivered Service Company (HDSC) Index, a sophisticated assessment model that evaluates the business fundamentals, market strength, and service offerings of companies that depend on people to produce most of their revenue. The ranking of translation companies reflects recent industry mergers and acquisitions including Lionbridge’s acquisition of Bowne Global Solutions, a unit of Bowne & Co, (BNE).

Common Sense Advisory also estimates the current worldwide translation and localization market at US$ 8.8 billion, reaching a total of US$ 12 billion in 2010. “This figure is particularly relevant at a time where the market seems to be entering a new wave of consolidation,” comments analyst Renato Beninatto.

Explains Common Sense Advisory founder and CEO, Donald A. DePalma, “Many language services companies want to get bigger. Our certification model lets us benchmark one company against comparable language services firms, against offshore providers providing a full range of engineering and localization offerings, and against the service firms that make up our own innovative HDSC Index. This information is valuable to any procurement department – not to mention to any LSP thinking about where it fits in the marketplace relative to its competitors.”

Ranking of Top 20 Translation Companies is now available for free download.

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Interview with Chuck Jeffrey, Regional Council candidate for Wards 2 & 6 in Brampton, Canada

Monday, October 23, 2006

The upcoming 2006 Brampton municipal election, to be held November 13, features an array of candidates looking to represent their wards in city council or the council of the Peel Region.

Wikinews contributor Nick Moreau contacted many of the candidates, including Chuck Jeffrey, asking them to answer common questions sent in an email. This ward’s incumbent is Paul Palleschi, also challenging Palleschi is Vicky Colbourne, David Esho, Curtis Grant, and Tejinder Singh.