30 May

eBay removes Canadian town’s listing of sperm whale carcass

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Citing violations of its policy regarding “Marine mammal items”, eBay terminated an online listing on Monday by the town of Cape St. George, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, for a 40 ft (12 m) sperm whale carcass reportedly beached upon its shores about a week prior.

With an initial asking price of 99 cents, bidding for the carcass reportedly rose to C$238.03 within 15 bids. Reports variously state the final price of the whale, prior to the removal of the listing from the auction site on Monday at about 2:30pm, was C$2,025 or C$2,075. Listed in eBay’s “really weird” category, the carcass was considered by eBay to be an example of “items made from marine mammals regardless of when the product was made”, which are prohibited as per site rules.

Following a council meeting on Sunday in the town of 950 residents, Cape St. George’s mayor, Peter Fenwick, put the whale up on the auction site in a bid to have it removed from the town’s premises, citing a lack of cooperation from provincial and federal government officials on the matter. “It’s your problem, you solve it”, Fenwick recounted to The Globe and Mail (TGaM) as the response he received from them. Apart from eBay, Kijiji was also suggested as another avenue by which to sell the carcass.

Fenwick told CTV News, several years prior another sperm whale measuring 15 ft was beached in the area, but disappeared without incident, an act Fenwick attributed to be the work of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “This time”, he remarked, “the authorities have told us that it’s our whale, it’s our responsibility to get rid of it.”

On putting the carcass for sale, Fenwick remarked, “We knew we had to do something with it and this seemed to be the least expensive way of disposing of it.” In a news release, Fenwick highlighted a possible use for the carcass, particularly its bones. “The 40 foot sperm whale will make a spectacular exhibit once the fat and muscle is removed, and the town is asking museums and other organizations that could use a whale skeleton to contact the town for further details.”

On retaining the whale himself, Fenwick stated, “As a town we would dearly love to keep the whale and put it on exhibit in the town but the cost of such a venture would be hard to justify.” Fenwick told TGaM the whale was “in half decent shape”. “This one looks like it died very recently and hasn’t decomposed much”, which Fenwick suggested elsewhere was due to the whale’s present location, partially submerged in near-freezing water. However, Fenwick noted its close proximity to a residential area, saying homeowners who lived there were “very interested in seeing the whale gone.”

eBay was not the only organization who barred the sale from taking place. “We also got threatened by the federal department of the environment, and told to pull the ad off or they would prosecute us”, said Fenwick on the opposition he said he received from Environment Canada, which viewed the sale as contravening a federal act designed to protect endangered species. “I received a call from the federal department of the environment saying that you’re not allowed to sell any parts of sperm whales, even if they’re dead.” he added. “So I said, ‘Oh that’s very good, I’m glad to hear that, now can you send somebody over here to get rid of it for us?'” Fenwick’s request was met with a negative response from Environment Canada.

“They’ve got to sort it out somehow. The uncertainty means it just sort of sits there and rots.” Once decomposition sets in, Fenwick remarked the carcass would become a “real nuisance”. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a whale that’s been rotting on the beach for a couple of months — actually sometimes you can’t see it for the clouds of flies around it — but you can smell it for about a mile”, he added.

On finding alternate means to dispose of the carcass, Wayne Ledwell, a member of Newfoundland’s Whale Release and Strandings, suggested the whale be towed out to a remote area. “They need to do that right away, when they come in and they’re fresh,” said Ledwell. “No one wants to go touch them … everything becomes gooey and slippery and you can’t stand up on the whale and it gets on your boots and you can’t get the smell off and then you go home and the dog rolls in it and you get it in your kitchen and you curse the whales, and you curse the government and … it becomes a mess.” Fenwick said they’d considered the idea, enlisting a local fisherman who, however, judged his engine too small for the job.

Previously, blue whale carcasses washed ashore in the towns of Trout River and Rocky Harbour, located about 150 km further north, and were taken by Royal Ontario Museum for preservation of the skeletons. Fenwick suggested the sperm whale carcass in his town might also meet a similar fate, as the sperm whale’s status as the largest toothed whale might prove to be a drawing attraction for such a facility.

Regarding what he plans to do next with the carcass, Fenwick said “If we’re not allowed to sell it, we’re willing to drop our 99 cent price down to a zero.” He said he hoped some eBay bidder stays interested in the whale. “We’ll be glad to talk to them about giving them the whale. We’re hoping that’s not illegal.” He also said he hoped the publicity from the town’s predicament, which garnered national attention, and its unusual means of finding a solution, would draw in someone interested in taking the whale off his hands at their own expense.

Should the whale fall under new ownership, Fenwick advised it be moved away from the town to a beach devoid of people, and the blubber left as food for seagulls, insects, and other predators. He estimated “It’ll probably take a year or so to get down to the skeleton.” As monetary gain was reportedly not what the town cared about, Fenwick was willing to offer the carcass for free, though one report noted money raised from the listing could have gone towards the building of a skate park.

The listing on eBay, as put up by Fenwick, read:

This 40 foot sperm whale rolled up on the beach last week. The actual seller is the town of Cape St. George which is responsible for disposing of it before it starts to decay. Once the fat and flesh is removed you have a spectacular 40 foot skeleton of the largest toothed whale in the world, great for museums and other attractions. To prevent it rotting in the town it can be towed to isolated beaches on the Port au Port Peninsula to allow the seagulls and other birds to remove the flesh. Call 709-644-2290 or 709-649-7070 for more details.

Please note the successful bidder will have to remove the whale within 30 days

27 May

Turkey’s President Erdogan proposes converting Hagia Sophia Museum to mosque

Sunday, March 31, 2019

On Wednesday, as a part of his pre-election campaign, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an pledged converting Hagia Sophia, formerly a Greek Orthodox church and now a museum, to a mosque, following the election today. He announced this change by live television on Wednesday and again verbally in a rally on Friday, despite criticism by the Greek foreign minister and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) who questioned his authority to make the change.

On Friday in Istanbul, as a part of an election rally, Erdogan said, “After elections, we will change Hagia Sophia’s name from museum to mosque[…] We have some plans and we are going to implement these plans.” Earlier this week on Wednesday on the live television, President Erdogan said — as reported by Hurriyet Daily News — “Ayasofya [Haghia Sophia] will no longer be called a museum. Its status will change. We will call it a mosque”.

This Wednesday Greek Foreign Minister George Katrougalos emphasized the requirement of approval by UNESCO, saying “It [Haghia Sophia] is not only a great temple of Christendom — the largest for many centuries — it also belongs to humanity. It has been recognized by UNESCO, as part of our global cultural heritage. So any questioning of this status is not just an insult to the sentiments of Christians, it is an insult to the international community and international law”, as quoted by Greek Reporter. In an interview with Sputnik News, UNESCO also said that this change would require its approval.

This Thursday the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) also criticized the move, this time not only implying approval would be required, but also recommending to maintain the status of the monument as a museum. They released a statement which said, “Hagia Sophia bears profound historical and spiritual significance to Muslims and Christians alike, and its status as a museum must be maintained”.

On live television Erdogan also attacked the proclamation of Golan Heights as official Israeli territory by the President of the United States Donald Trump, which was made on Monday. This proclamation contradicted the United Nations’ official position on status of the territory, which belonged to Syria and was occupied by Israel.

Namely, President Erdogan said on Wednesday, “Those who remain silent when Masjid Al-Aqsa is attacked, trampled, its windows smashed, cannot tell us what to do about the status of Ayasofya[…] Unfortunately, Trump is behaving like a bully boy[…] How can you do this despite the United Nations? What are you doing? Being at the helm of a state like the U.S. does not give you such a right.”

Erdogan also said earlier he might rename the monument. On the live television he said, “Constantinople will never exist again[…] The name of this area is Islambol [full of Islam] and you know that.” UNESCO reportedly said a change of name of a world heritage site would required approval from the World Heritage Committee.

UNESCO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, is based in Paris.

27 May

Fuel leak prompts 17,000-vehicle recall by Toyota

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toyota announced on Friday that it will recall around 17,000 Lexus vehicles in response to risks of the fuel tank in the cars leaking after a collision.

The Lexus HS 250h model was subjected to the recall following a US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation. Despite previously passing Toyota safety inspections, the conclusions of an NHTSA sub-contracted investigator were that; when the vehicles in question collided with an object at more than fifty-miles-per hour, more than 142 grams of fuel, the maximum allowed by US law, leaked from the crashed car.

According to Toyota, further tests did not show any additional failure of the fuel tank.

In response to the findings, Toyota issued a recall of all affected vehicles, since the company had no solution immediately available. The recall includes 13,000 cars already sold, as well as another 4,000 still at dealerships.

Toyota says it plans to conduct further tests to determine the cause of the leak. A Toyota spokesman, Brian Lyons, said that the company was “still working to determine what the root cause of the condition is.” It’s still unclear when exactly the recall will take place, or when dealerships will be allowed to sell this model again. Lyons said that Toyota is “working feverishly to get this resolved as soon as possible.”

Toyota isn’t aware of any accidents stemming from the leaking fuel tank in the affected vehicles, first introduced in the summer of 2009.

27 May

BHP halts operations after mine death in Western Australia

Sunday, February 5, 2006

A BHP Billiton nickel mine at Leinster, 645Km northeast of Perth, Western Australia has halted operations after the death of a mine worker. WA Police say Mark Quinn, 32, an employee of mining contractor MacMahon’s, working about 900 metres underground, was killed in an explosion.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known. Department of Community and Employment Protection investigators have travelled to the site from Kalgoorlie to conduct an inquiry.

Global resources giant BHP Billiton Ltd./Plc, says employees are being briefed and counselled over the incident. The mine will remain closed until the investigation is complete. Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

According to media reports, no-one else was injured in the explosion – the cause of which is not yet known. The accident comes almost two years after a BHP Billiton worker died in a gas explosion at the Boodarie iron plant in Port Hedland, WA. The plant was then abandoned after the incident in May 2004.

In April 2004, a man was killed at BHP Billiton’s Nelson Point facility, also at Port Hedland in WA. In May 2000 a truck driver was killed at a BHP Pilbara iron ore operation in WA. BHP Billiton employ some 37,000 people at over 100 operations in 25 countries.

Coal mines in the United States’ West Virginia district were also suspended earlier this week, due to increased amounts of miners’ deaths.

27 May


Monday, November 29, 2004

Digest for 29 November-5 December 2004

< 22-29 November 2004 • Index • 6-13 December 2004 >

Articles dated 29 November to 5 December 2004 are included in the compilation below. Their status in the current proposed review policy at time of compilation is noted next to each date of articles of some length, with articles only in development being listed at bottom.

26 May

Government of Canada okays WIND Mobile launch, overturning CRTC decision

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Industry Canada announced today that the government, through the Privy Council Office, has effectively overturned a decision by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding the status of Globalive Wireless Management Corporation, which was set to launch in November under the WIND Mobile brand.

In a release issued this morning, Tony Clement, Minister of Industry is quoted as saying “Globalive is a Canadian company, and meets Canadian ownership and control requirements under the Telecommunications Act,” differing with the CRTC’s decision, where they ruled that control-in-fact of Globalive was with Cairo-based Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E., the corporation holding much of Globalive’s equity and debt. A decision had been rendered under Canadian Ownership and Control regulations by Industry Canada at the time of the Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS) auction held in 2007–2008, at which time they had ruled that Globalive did meet the tests of ownership and control under the same regulation, as referenced by the Order-in-Council included with the government’s announcement this morning.

With the decision by the government, Globalive is now permitted to launch their wireless service, which is expected to occur in the Calgary and Toronto markets in time for the busy holiday shopping season.

“This is a new day for wireless in Canada. This holiday season we will start to provide Canadians with the competitive choice that they want and deserve,” said Anthony Lacavera, Chairman and CEO of Globalive Communications Corporation, in a release sent out today.

Not everyone was quite as enthusiastic however, with Michael Hennessey, Senior VP of Regulatory and Government Affairs for TELUS Communications quoted as saying “If Wind is Canadian then so was King Tut,” in a comment posted to Twitter, according to the CBC.

TELUS had led the charge in requesting the CRTC review the ownership structure of Globalive/WIND, and had received support from Shaw Communications, along with new entrant Public Mobile, all of whom were reported to have signed an open letter to Industry Minister Clement published in Parliament Hill newspaper The Hill Times upon the announcement that he would be reviewing said decision by the CRTC. There is no word yet on whether TELUS or other carriers will attempt to appeal the ruling.

26 May

Afghanistan: Suicide attackers kill several people in Kabul

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A car bomb attack this morning, which targeted a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) convoy in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, has killed or wounded dozens of people. The death toll was not confirmed, and estimates range from ten to twenty deaths. 47 people were injured in the attack.

The incident occurred at the Darulaman crossroads, near a US-Afghan military base and the parliament. Six NATO troops died in the attack alongside several civilians. The NATO said they had sealed off the region. The bomber had been driving a car filled with explosives, which they detonated at around 0815 local time [0415 GMT].

Iain Baxter, a spokesman for Isaf (International Security Assistance Force), stated: “An Isaf convoy was hit. At the moment we’re trying to confirm the number of Isaf casualties.” He could not confirm the number of Isaf personnel killed in the attack.

Zemarai Bashary, an Interior Ministry spokesperson, confirmed the attack, noting that “[t]here are a number of casualties, civilians killed and wounded.” The death toll is unclear, and we’re checking all the hospitals,” he added.

Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, said it was a “heartbreaking” attack. “We are condemning the attack in the strongest terms. I hope Afghanistan will soon get out of this suffering, God willing,” he commented on national television.

General Ahmad Zia Yaftali, the chief military doctor of the Afghan army, claimed twenty people had been killed. “We have five bodies brought to our hospital so far […] the number of the dead is more than 20,” Yaftali told Agence France-Presse news agency.

Later, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying a resident of Kabul, Nizamuddin, had been sent to “destroy five foreign vehicles and damage one more.” “Today’s attack was part of the Al Fatah operation and we will continue attacking foreigners and government security forces and their associates,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson said. The latter had 1,500 pounds of explosives in his Toyota van. NATO officials said five US military convoys were destroyed along with a further thirteen public vehicles. One of the vehicles to be destroyed was a bus filled with people.

26 May

Getting Dumped: “Do I Still Have A Chance?”

Submitted by: Alexandra Denise Chan

Suffering from getting dumped?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is this:

“My story is this ______________ (this is where there are all the sordid and painful details). Do I still have a chance or is it hopeless?”

Have you ever wondered this? I know I did.

I also know this goes beyond just the situation with your ex. It applies to every part of our lives, doesn’t it? When things go awry (and how often does that happen:), what do we do?

As people we have an ingrained psychological NEED to feel and exercise our personal power.

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This doesn’t mean anything weird like being more powerful than others, or bullying people.

What it means is that we need to feel like we have some control over our own lives.

One of the most devastating things about a breakup is the loss of this feeling of power. The choice of our happiness feels like it has been taken from us. That is devastating to our state of well being.

Does this make sense? Have you ever felt this way?

If so, I have some good news. You can change this feeling by changing the way you look at the situation. Or, to put it another way, by changing the way you interpret it. What this will do for you is allow you feel better and be stronger, more confident and happier than you would have been otherwise.

Here’s the first step: the way you interpret a situation has everything to do with how you feel about it.

Ofter after a breakup, we think our ex isn’t thinking about us at all, that they are moving on, and happy with life without us. This is devastating to our well being.

Well, who says they are moving on and happy with life? You do. You are the one who is saying that. You are telling it to yourself. Is it possible you could tell yourself something different? If you are telling yourself one thing that makes you feel like crap, would you be willing to tell yourself something different that would make you feel better?

If you’re not willing to try it, then you are obviously devoted to being miserable. If you aren’t willing to TRY something that can make you feel better, than you are choosing (for whatever reason) to be sad. And being sad isn’t as fun as being happy. It’s easier, but not as much fun.

Okay, so what can you think instead? Think this: “My ex is sad and missing me because we had some great times and shared some deep emotion. They may appear to be doing better, but it’s just an act. They are a better actor than I am, but in no less pain.”

What this does for you is profound. It allows you to feel wanted. To feel a sense of power again. Imagine if you were to believe the statement above were true. Wouldn’t you feel stronger, more confident and more sure of how to move forward? Wouldn’t you feel like you had more options than just waiting for them to call you, text you or ask you out? Wouldn’t it feel like the deepest needs we have (to feel wanted, to have some sense of control over our own lives) would be more satisfied?


Now listen, if you’re still reading this, it’s obvious that you are a person that takes action to create your happiness. Here’s what to do next:

Go to my site and order my book. You’ll be able to download it immediately, you’ll get a copy of the live teleseminar I did with over 100 people. We did a huge amount of Q&A and covered a variety of topics. This one action will build your confidence.

Confidence is contagious, isn’t it? You’ve been around people who are confident, right? Not cocky, but confident. Confident in you and your strengths. How does that make you feel?


About the Author: Need Help about how to solve a problem in your relationship with your partner? Are you getting dumped with your partner? Learn how you can use these tips to Get Your Ex Back:




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23 May

Moto GP rider Marco Simoncelli dies in 2011 Malaysia Grand Prix

Monday, October 24, 2011

Italy’s Marco Simoncelli, 24, has died after a crash during the second lap of the 2011 Malaysia Moto GP Grand Prix held at the Sepang International Circuit.

While veering accross the track on the exit of turn 11, Simoncelli was hit by the bike of Colin Edwards and fell into the path of Edwards and Valentino Rossi. The other riders were powerless to avoid Simoncelli. Such was the force of the collision, Simoncelli’s helmet was dislodged and bounced several metres. Fellow rider Casey Stoner said “Whenever the helmet comes off that’s not a good sign.”

Simoncelli lay without moving in the centre of the track, causing the race to be immediately red flagged for safety reasons. When medics arrived, he was in cardiac arrest and they fought to resuscitate him in the ambulance and medical centre. Simoncelli died from his injuries at 16:56 local time.

Known for his aggressive attacking style, Simoncelli had enjoyed a run of success in Moto GP despite his status as a relatively new rider on a satellite bike and was predicted by many to be a rising star of the sport. His death is a blow to the Moto GP world.

The official Moto GP statement is as follows:

“On Sunday, 23 October, during the MotoGP race at the Sepang International Circuit, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Italian rider Marco Simoncelli suffered a serious accident wherein he sustained critical injuries.

“The race was stopped immediately with the red flag and Simoncelli was transported by ambulance to the circuit medical centre where the medical staff worked to resuscitate him.”

The death is the first in Moto GP since Japan’s Daijiro Katoh died in his home race in 2003 and follows the death of Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa in the 2010 inaugral Moto2 season. Edwards also fell from his bike and sustained a dislocated shoulder, Rossi remained onboard.

23 May

French teacher returns home after being held in Iran for ten months

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

24-year-old Clotilde Reiss, a French teaching assistant who had been detained in Iran for ten months, returned to France Sunday.

Iranian officials arrested Reiss as she was about to leave the country on July 1, 2009. The arrest came after she had attended a protest regarding the country’s elections, with the officials calling her a foreign spy. Reiss was in Iran for a five-month teaching position in Isfahan, and was later sent from Tehran‘s Evin Prison to the French Embassy on bail. During the trial, which included over 100 others thought to be trying to cause a coup, she pleaded not guilty and said that she only went to the protest because she was curious. Reiss was originally given two five-year sentences of jail time for spying and provoking unrest, but the sentence was reduced to a 300 billion IRR fine, or about USD300,000. Reiss’ lawyer said that the money was given on Saturday, freeing the young academic.

Reiss landed at Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base Sunday afternoon. She met French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Élysée Palace in Paris shortly after. Sarkozy later released a statement thanking the presidents of Brazil, Senegal, and Syria for aiding in Reiss’ return, but did not elaborate on the role each played.

The governments of both France and Iran have denied rumors that Reiss’ freedom was part of a deal involving two Iranians in France. One of the two, Majid Kakavand, was released a couple of weeks ago after France refused on May 5 to extradite him to the U.S. The other, Ali Vakili Rad, will likely receive parole and return to Iran later today. Kakavand had supposedly tried to give U.S. goods to the Iranian military, while Rad was responsible for the assassination of former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar in 1991.

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