18 August

Delta Blues wins 2006 Melbourne Cup

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

The Japanese owned Delta Blues ridden by Iwata Yasunari has won the AU$5.1 million 2006 Melbourne Cup. Trainer Katsuhiko Sumii also achieved the Quinella winning bet with stablemate Pop Rock, ridden by Damien Oliver, placing second in the race. Maybe Better came in at third, with Zipping posting a fourth place finish. Pre-race favourite Yeates missed the start, finishing seventh.

After the race, jockey Iwata joyfully shouted “Very happy, very happy. My biggest winner ever.”

Zabeat was the last finisher in a 23-horse field that was reduced in number after the early morning scratching from the race of Efficient with leg soreness.

Australians bet over $50 million dollars on the race, with Delta Blues paying $17.50 for the win, which made it the first horse from Japan to have won the race in the 145 year history of the Melbourne Cup.

17 August

US Secretary Rice responds to European enquiries on alleged CIA prisons

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

The United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has begun to address concerns raised by the EU, the Council of Europe, and several member countries about the CIA’s detention practices upon her arrival in Germany for a European tour that began Tuesday.

“As a matter of US policy, the United States’ obligations under the U.N. Convention Against Torture, which prohibits, of course, cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment, those obligations extend to US personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the United States or outside the United States,” said Rice, speaking from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Wednesday.

Media reports and Human Rights groups have alleged that the CIA transported renditioned prisoners through European countries, which could violate European laws and the sovereignty of countries involved. Secretary Rice claimed that the United States has respected the sovereignty of other countries, and that it has not transported detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture, and has not transported anyone to a country when we believe he will be tortured.

“We consider the captured members of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates to be unlawful combatants who may be held, in accordance with the law of war, to keep them from killing innocents. We must treat them in accordance with our laws, which reflect the values of the American people. We must question them to gather potentially significant, life-saving, intelligence. We must bring terrorists to justice wherever possible,” Rice told reporters before she left from Andrews Air Force base on Monday.

Rice said that European nations should realize that interrogations of terrorist suspects have produced information that has saved European lives. However, Secretary Rice provided no specific cases.

“Secretary Rice made extra-legal rendition sound like just another form of extradition. In fact, it’s a form of kidnapping and ‘disappearing’ someone entirely outside the law,” said Tom Malinowski, a Human Rights Watch official in Washington.

The CIA practice known as “extraordinary rendition” is used to interrogate terrorist suspects outside the U.S., where they are not subject to American legal protection.

“Kidnapping a foreign national for the purpose of detaining and interrogating him outside the law is contrary to American values,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on the Khalid El-Masri case. “Our government has acted as if it is above the law. We go to court today to reaffirm that the rule of law is central to our identity as a nation.”

The ACLU feels the government has to be held to account over “extraordinary rendition”.

17 August

Microsoft to buy back US$40 B of its stock over 5 years

Friday, July 21, 2006

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT, HKSE:4338) has announced plans to buy back US$40 billion of its stock between now and 2011.

(All further figures in this article are in U.S. Dollars.)

Microsoft, the world’s largest maker of computer software, will make a tender offer to repurchase $20 billion of its own stock by August 17, and will purchase another $20 billion by 2011. This is in addition to a previous $30 billion stock buyback offer it completed two years ago.

The company plans to accept offers in the form of a modified Dutch or “reverse auction”, and based on those offers for stock, come up with a price no less than $22.50 and no more than $24.75, that allows it to buy up to about 8.1% of the common shares outstanding, up to either 808,080,808 shares, or $20 billion. The company stated that it will not purchase shares below a price stipulated by a shareholder, and in some cases, may actually purchase shares at prices above a shareholder’s indication under the terms of the modified Dutch auction. Prior to the announcement, Microsoft shares were trading at $22.75, with the announcement causing share prices to rise $1.32, or 5.8%, to $24.17.

Microsoft has been criticized in the past for “sitting on” huge reserves of cash without making additional purchases of companies or technology.

The company expects to sell more units of its Xbox 360 game console, which currently is unprofitable, helping to shore up weaker earnings from its Office flagship software package, of which a new version is not expected until sometime next year.

On July 20 the company said profit for the year will be $1.43 to $1.47 a share, an increase from an April forecast of $1.36 to $1.41. For the quarter ending September, expected profit will be 30-32c/share on revenue of between $10.6-$10.8 billion. For fiscal 2006, earnings were 11% higher than the previous year, at $12.6 billion on revenues of $44.28 billion, or $1.20 per share. In the year-ago quarter, Microsoft reported net income of $3.70 billion, with legal expenses of 5 cents per share plus tax benefits of 9 cents per share. This produced a net income of 34 cents per share for the quarter, opposed to the 31 cents which would have occurred without the tax benefits. For the previous fiscal year, income was $12.25 billion on revenue of $39.79 billion, or $1.13 per share.

Microsoft held an audio web-cast at 2:30 p.m. PDT (5:30 p.m. EDT) July 20 with Chris Liddell, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Frank Brod, corporate vice president and chief accounting officer, and Colleen Healy, general manager of Investor Relations. The session may be accessed at the Microsoft website. The web-cast will be available for replay through the close of business on July 20, 2007.

16 August

IMF head remains in New York prison; charged over alleged hotel sex attack

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This sordid episode—no matter how it ultimately plays out—will spell the end of Strauss-Kahn as an effective leader of the IMF even if he retains his position, which is highly unlikely.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, remained in jail last night after being charged with sexually attacking a chambermaid at a New York City hotel. Strauss-Kahn has agreed to undergo forensic screening before he appears in court, and has vowed to “vigorously” defend himself against the charges, which are likely to create a leadership void at the IMF, disrupt emergency talks over the European debt crisis, and spell the end of his political career.

Strauss-Khan was the favourite candidate for the French presidency, and was expected to announce he would stand against Nicolas Sarkozy this month. But the allegations are expected to destroy the hopes of his supporters, increase infighting among the French left, and leave his political career in tatters. His arrest comes at a critical moment for the IMF, and will likely plunge efforts to stabilise the financial states of struggling eurozone countries into chaos. He was meant to discuss the bailouts of Greece and Portugal with European Union financial officials at a meeting in Brussels this week.

Eswar Shanker Prasad, a professor of international economics at Cornell University, said: “This sordid episode – no matter how it ultimately plays out – will spell the end of Strauss-Kahn as an effective leader of the IMF even if he retains his position, which is highly unlikely.” The IMF, however, insisted it remained “fully functioning and operational.”

Strauss-Kahn was to appear in court in Manhattan yesterday charged with three crimes, including attempted rape, but the hearing has been delayed so he can undergo forensic tests. He was taken into custody by officials while on an Air France passenger plane which was about to take off from John F. Kennedy International Airport for Paris; when detectives approached him in the first class cabin in the aircraft he reportedly asked: “What is this about?” Strauss-Kahn reportedly fled the hotel “in a hurry” after the attack, leaving a number of personal effects behind. “If our officers had been ten minutes later he would have been in the air and on their [sic] way to France,” a spokesperson for the New York Police Department said.

The chambermaid reported that she had been sexually assaulted by a man staying in a “luxury suite” at the Sofitel hotel near Times Square. “The maid described being forcibly attacked, locked in the room and sexually assaulted,” the police spokesperson said. Strauss-Kahn came out of the shower naked while the chambermaid was working in the room, tried to pull the woman onto the bed and locked the door, The New York Times reported, quoting police sources. She allegedly fought him off, but he sexually assaulted her again after dragging her to the bathroom, before he locked her in the room; she was reportedly hospitalized afterwards with trauma.

In 2008, a year after becoming the leader of the IMF, Strauss-Kahn was reprimanded by the organization’s board after being involved in an extramarital affair with another senior executive at the bank. More recently, he was pictured driving a luxury car in Paris, causing a media furore over whether his lifestyle fitted with the socialist attitude he claims to represent. But his wife, former television star Anne Sinclair, has dismissed the accusations. She said: “I do not believe for one second the accusations brought against my husband. I have no doubt his innocence will be established.”

15 August

Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/AL-KY

See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list and for an alphabetically arranged listing of schools.

Due to the damage by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, a number of colleges and universities in the New Orleans metropolitan area will not be able to hold classes for the fall 2005 semester. It is estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 students have been displaced. [1]. In response, institutions across the United States and Canada are offering late registration for displaced students so that their academic progress is not unduly delayed. Some are offering free or reduced admission to displaced students. At some universities, especially state universities, this offer is limited to residents of the area.

Contents

  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Alabama
  • 3 Alaska
  • 4 Arizona
  • 5 Arkansas
  • 6 California
  • 7 Colorado
  • 8 Connecticut
  • 9 Delaware
  • 10 District of Columbia
  • 11 Florida
  • 12 Georgia
  • 13 Hawaii
  • 14 Idaho
  • 15 Illinois
  • 16 Indiana
  • 17 Iowa
  • 18 Kansas
  • 19 Kentucky
15 August

Gunman commits suicide at University of Texas

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A man wearing a ski mask and carrying an assault rifle apparently killed himself in the library of the University of Texas in Austin, Texas earlier today.

The university was placed under lockdown and all classes were canceled as a result of the incident. Nobody else was hurt, but police are still looking for a possible second gunman. Art Acevedo, the chief of Austin police, said that officials are also considering the possibility of explosives left by the suspect. Armored vehicles were seen moving around the campus in response to the event, as well as {{w|SWAT team|SWAT teams}, bomb-sniffing dogs, and police helicopters. An ambulance was seen around 9:00 a.m. CDT (1400 UTC) at the University of Texas’ Perry-Castaneda library.

The school’s website included a notice this morning, which read: “The person involved in this morning’s shooting on campus has been confirmed dead on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Law enforcement are searching for a second suspect. If you are off campus, STAY AWAY. If you are on campus, lock doors, do not leave your building.” The gunman was reportedly killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and no shots had been fired by law enforcement officials.

The shooter has not yet been identified, and the reason behind the incident is not yet known. Witnesses described the man as wearing a dark suit and ski mask, and carrying an assault rifle. Randall Wilhite, a professor at the university, said that he heard gunshots while going to class and saw the suspect heading toward the library just after 8:00 a.m. CDT (1300 UTC). The gunman appeared to be firing shots randomly. “When I pulled up in my car, he stood right in front of me and didn’t stop running but turned in my direction, fired three shots into the ground to the left of my car and kept running,” said Wilhite. The gunman had the chance to shoot students, added Wilhite, but he did not appear to be targeting them.

The school, which has around 50,000 students, sent out an alert around that time warning students to stay where they were. Robby Reeb, a senior at the school, said that “a guy sprinted past me screaming, ‘There’s a guy with a gun.’ I looked up and saw a man in a ski mask, wearing a suit, and carrying an assault rifle. And I called 911.”

Police said that the gun used in the shooting was an AK-47, and that they were examining two different crime scenes: where the shots were fired outside, and where the gunman was found dead in the library. Police would not say whether he was attending the university. Chief Acevado said that there were “reports of a second suspect that was wearing a beanie with a long rifle, wearing blue jeans and a black top” that “may or may not be a white male.”

Several hours after the lockdown began, police allowed students to leave the university’s campus, although nobody is still allowed to enter.

The school was also the site of a shooting spree on August 1, 1966, in which university student Charles Whitman fatally shot fourteen to sixteen people and wounded another 32 before being himself killed by law enforcement authorities; reports of the exact death toll are inconsistent. Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, shot students from the observation platform of the school’s tower. That event was the deadliest school shooting in the United States until the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

14 August

IBM and Cisco in attempt to create a universal platform for communications software development

Friday, March 9, 2007

IBM and Cisco have announced the development of a new platform, based on Eclipse and OSGi (Open Services Gateway initiative), which should unite all communication and collaboration software developers under a single platform.

Before the UC2 (Unified Communication and Collaboration) the unified communication has suffered because of a lack of a platform to be used by all software developers, rather than a series of them and, moreover, provided by different vendors. According to Adam Gartenberg from IBM Lotus Software Group this was the main cause for this partial stagnation.

However, the UC2 is meant to ease the work of software developers. Gartenberg stated that this platform is very flexible and will certainly draw much attention form programmers. They will be able to create different plug-ins and small applications to remotely control other, major application.

The companies have also unveiled a series of their other joint projects. These project will be based on a set of application programming interface from Lotus (SameTime) and Cisco.

The add-ons planned are integration of a series of additional functions and features into the SameTime software from Lotus. Thus, in a few months, the SameTime users will benefit from such functions as click-to-call and voicemail. This will enable easier instant messaging inside the Cisco’s Unified IP phones’ system.

The fact that the platform will be based on Eclipse will make the numerous developers create many communications services, mainly for remote users to benefit from a series of new functions of ERP and CRM applications.

Nortel Networks – a partner of Microsoft since last year and Cisco’s rival in the area – didn’t have much success in the communication services field.

As for Microsoft, the experts are waiting for the reaction of the Bill Gates’ company on the ideas and offers made by IBM and Cisco for enterprise communications and collaboration solutions.

12 August

Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.

12 August

U.S. Coast Guard unleashes cannon fire on abandoned Japanese ship

Friday, April 6, 2012

Yesterday, the United States Coast Guard went through with its plans to fire its cannons on the Ry? Un Maru, a Japanese ship that was sent out to sea last year by the tsunami that hit Japan.

The Ry? Un Maru has made a journey across the Pacific Ocean from Hachinohe, Japan to the Gulf of Alaska and ended up about 180 miles from the Alaskan shore. Coast Guard spokesman Paul Webb said sinking the vessel would be “less risky than it would be running into shore or running into [maritime] traffic”. The plan was for a Coast Guard cutter to hole the Ryou-un Maru with fire from a range of several hundred feet, and let it sink.

Prior to the sinking of the Ry? Un Maru, a Canadian fishing vessel claimed salvage rights. Webb said they would postpone their plans to sink the 164-foot Ry? Un Maru, to allow the 62-foot Bernice C to attempt to tow it; if the Canadians were not able to tow the abandoned vessel it would be sunk as planned.

After arrival the Canadians learned they could not tow the vessel and the Coast Guard proceeded with their plans. An HC-130 Hercules airplane observed the sinking of the Ry? Un Maru and warned ships in the area of a “live fire exercise”. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Anacapa firing a 25mm cannon sank the Ry? Un Maru, which had been scheduled to be scrapped prior to the 2011 tsunami.

Officials said they didn’t know how much diesel fuel the vessel, which could hold over 2,000 gallons, was carrying. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United States Environmental Protection Agency looked into this issue and came to the conclusion that sinking the ship and letting the fuel evaporate in open water was the best course of action.

According to Alaska state health and environmental officials, tsunami debris should not cause significant concern of radiation contamination to the shores of Alaska.

10 August

Poison control centers educate public on hand sanitizer consumption

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Teens may ingest hand sanitizer recreationally, and one or two swallows could get a child visibly drunk.

Poison control centers across the US are monitoring a recent increase in the trend of teenagers getting drunk by consuming hand sanitizer. In an effort to educate the public about the trend’s detrimental effects, these centers will be publicizing preventative methods, according to James Mowry, director of Indiana Poison Center.

“We are going to keep a close watch on this trend,” said Mowry. “We will be posting information on our Facebook page so our public will be aware of what could happen.”

Sixteen cases have been reported in California since March 1, according to the California Poison Control System. This amount raises California’s total to 60 cases reported since 2010.

Since the system “only receives the reported cases,” said Stuart E. Heard, executive director at CPCS, “… we suspect there are much more that go unreported.”

Ingesting the product can cause severe internal damage. The US Food and Drug Administration considers hand sanitizer a drug because the active ingredient in the product is alcohol. Low numbers of reported cases will not stop poison control centers from educating the public on the trend’s harmful effects, according to Mowry.

Hand sanitizer contains 62 percent ethyl alcohol and, when ingested, produces the same effects of consuming a 120-proof alcoholic beverage or 50 percent more alcohol than hard liquor, according to Mowry. These effects range from dizziness to slurred speech. Ingesting the product can also lead to severe internal damage including alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning symptoms include confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow or irregular breathing, blue-tinged or pale skin, low body temperature, and unconsciousness, according to a report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

“Teens may ingest hand sanitizer recreationally, and one or two swallows could get a child visibly drunk. The larger the bottle, the greater the potential for poisoning,” said Cyrus Rangan, a medical toxicology consultant at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and an assistant medical director at CPCS.

Teenagers learn how to extract the alcohol from the product through various sources, like YouTube tutorials. A common method of distilling hand sanitizer involves using salt to isolate the alcohol. Other teens boil the product to separate the ethanol.

“Methods to distill it can be found through friends and the Internet, but straight ingestion of the product without distillation is also common,” said Rangan. Another concern with this trend is the product’s availability. “Hand sanitizer is readily available,“ said Heard. “Teens can buy it anywhere.”

Officials suggest parents keep hand sanitizer out of children’s sight and reach. Also, purchasing hand sanitizer in foam form instead of gel makes drinking the substance less appealing. However, education is critical. “The main preventative focus should be education,” said Heard. “Teens need to thoroughly understand the effects of consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time.”


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