Friday, May 16, 2008

2008 The 27th Young Designers’ Exhibition, opened on May 15 at the Taipei World Trade Center and closes Sunday May 18. It features participation by 87 academic groups in Taiwan and 20 groups from United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Australia to showcase various achievements in industrial design. It is recognized by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) as the largest show of student creations.

Besides the several design competitions, sponsors like International Forum Design (iF), EPSON, MUJI (in Japanese: ????, Mujirushi Ry?hin), Tsann Kuen Trans-nation Group will showcase different solutions for the design, creative, and cultural industries. The show’s organizer, Taiwan Design Center, also designed several on-site events like “On-line Graduate Season Show”, “Career Match-up”, “Creative and Cultural Showcase and Performance”, “Seminars of YODEX 2008” to link the actual exhibition with the on-line exhibition.

Besides of the previously announced “Wow! Taiwan Design Award”, winners from “2008 Young Designers’ Competition” and “2008 YODEX Interior Design Competition” were announced on Saturday, May 17.

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U.N. pulls out of southern Somalia

Friday, January 8, 2010

With violence against foreigners escalating daily, and after being deluged with various threats and demands from al-Shabaab, a radical Islamic militant group with ties to al-Qaeda, the United Nations World Food Programme announced on Tuesday that, as of the end of this week, they are going to suspend all of their operations within southern Somalia—including the distribution of desperately needed food aid to Somali civilians. This is now the third humanitarian agency, after CARE International and Doctors Without Borders, to evacuate from the war-torn nation.

The pull out, which will include the closing down of all UN offices and the withdrawal of all local staff, is going to effect over one million Somalis—many of whom relay on this food program for their daily meals.

When asked by the New York Times to further explain the UN’s decision, Peter Smerdon, a spokesperson for the program, said via telephone from Nairobi, Kenya, “In the past few weeks there has been a harder line of unacceptable demands and conditions set by armed groups (such as al-Shabaab) in these areas. We sadly had to make the decision to pull our staff out.”

Smerdon also cited the fact that over forty aid workers have been killed between January 2008 and September 2009, and that four volunteers still remain in the hands of their captors.

Furthermore, when asked how this move by the UN will effect the Somali people, Smerdon said simply, “People will go hungry…you could see malnutrition rates rising [as a result].” When asked by a British newspaper, The Morning Star, the same question, another program representative, Emilia Casella, conveyed like sentiments, “[Those] dependent on food assistance in southern Somalia face a situation that is particularly dire.”

In a nation that—due to civil war—has not had a functioning government in over two decades, Islamic extremists groups—such as al-Shabaab—as well as various warlords and pirate gangs control most of the Horn of Africa nation, except for its besieged capital, Mogadishu, which is protected by African Union and NATO troops in addition to UN peacekeepers.

According to the UN, al-Shabaab—which has direct influence over the area that is going to be effected—presented their offices with numerous lists of demands. Among their demands was that the UN pay Shabaab a $20,000 protection fee every six months, seek Shabaab approval for all their projects, fire their entire female staff, and run their operations according to the militant group’s schedule.

When asked by The Associated Press about the UN’s decision to leave southern Somalia—including his own town of Jilib—Somali civilian and father of eight children, Abdullahi Awnur, said that al-Shabaab is responsible for driving the UN food program away, and that what they are doing is “indirect[ly] killing” innocent people.

Awnur went on to say, “We have been forced to flee from our houses and depend on [UN] food aid, and now that it is finished, that means [al-Shabaab] here does not want us to live.”

Despite all that has been said, al-Shabaab spokesperson, Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage, told New York Times reporters that he found these claims to be “baseless” in their origins. He continued by stating that, “All we (al-Shabaab) ordered them (the UN) was to buy food from Somali farmers and distribute it. They (the UN) do not want to do that, and because of that, they have made this very ridiculous justification.” Nevertheless, the UN has noted that even when harvests were good, Somali farmers are only able to supply 30-40% of the food needed to sustain the bulk of the country’s population.

“[Somalia] has been described as the most complex emergency in the world, and perhaps the most dangerous to operate in. However, the world is not hearing this,” say David Gilmour director of CARE International’s Somali branch.

Category:June 10, 2010

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Category:June 10, 2010
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Interview with Tony Ciufo, City Council candidate for Ward 10 in Mississauga, Canada

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Interview with Tony Ciufo, City Council candidate for Ward 10 in Mississauga, Canada
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Friday, September 22, 2006

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

Wikinews contributor Nicholas Moreau has contacted as many candidates as possible, including Tony Ciufo, asking them to answer common questions sent in an email. There is no incumbent in the newly created ward; the sixteen resident competing for the position are Shah Rukh Alam, John Briers, Jamie Dookie, Dale D’Souza, Prag Euclid, Adnan Hashmi, Elias Hazineh, Jack Janiak, Fasal Javaid, Craig Lawrence, Sue M. McFadden, Patrick Mendes, Barbara Polis, Graziano Roti, Ali Tahmourpour, and Scott Wilson.

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Global markets plunge

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Global markets plunge
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stock markets across the world have fallen sharply with several seeing the biggest drop in their history.

Asian markets saw the biggest sell-off. The Nikkei dropped 9.62% to reach a 20 year low. Japan also saw a collapse of a mid-size insurance company, Yamato Life Insurance Company, which declared bankruptcy. The Hang Seng, which was one of the few markets that was positive yesterday, fell 7.19%. Australia dropped by 8.4% and South Korea saw a 9% fall.

In Europe, markets dropped at the open with the FTSE losing 11%. They have recovered only sightly with all European markets losing more than 5%. The European sell off was more about the Asian lows then any specific news. European banks and financial institutes saw the most selling. Also, oil related companies saw large drops as an result of an expected decrease in oil consumption.

The U.S. markets opened lower with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling below 8,000, before recovering slightly. President George W. Bush made an address on the economy and said markets were being “driven by uncertainty and fear.”

Oil has seen losses of more than US$6 in trading with the current price of a barrel of oil less than $80. This is a year low for oil. News also came out that OPEC will hold an emergency meeting on November 18 to discuss the falling price of oil.

Charities, such as Cats Protection, today said that they have lost much of their funds in collapsing banks. Cats Protection had a total of £11.2 million saved in the now-collapsed Kaupthing bank.

The British National Council for Voluntary Organisations said that 60 of its 6,500 have lost money due to the collapse of banks.

Contents

  • 1 Stock markets
    • 1.1 Dow Jones Industrial Average
    • 1.2 FTSE 100
    • 1.3 Nikkei 225
  • 2 International reaction
    • 2.1 George W. Bush
    • 2.2 Gordon Brown
    • 2.3 Jim Flaherty
  • 3 Market data
  • 4 Sources

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to its lowest level in five years at 8,579.19, falling 679 points in one day. This, at 7.3%, is the eleventh largest percentage fall in the history of the index. The growth then continued, with the index being up over 150 points on the start of the day at one point.

The index, did however, recover, and as of 19:30 UTC was up 17.68 points, or 0.21%, pushing the index up to almost 8600.

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners, commented on these massive falls. “What we’ve seen here was one big margin call that just kept feeding on itself, so the opposite could happen. But you need a catalyst,” he said. “I’m more convinced now than ever that this market has made a bottom. The capitulation came when we breached 8,000,” he continued. “It doesn’t mean we can’t go back and revisit that level.”

The UK’s FTSE 100 index fell dramatically to close below 4000, in the index’s worst week in history. This is despite the fact that just a few days ago the index was above 5000, and the index peaked above 5500 in September.The FTSE 100 index has fallen by 41% this year.

Barclays Wealth analyst Henk Potts commented on this massive fall. “We are drowning in a sea of red numbers,” he claimed. “Investors are concerned about the exacerbation of the credit crunch and the gloomy forecasts for economic growth. The reality is that most investors have been spooked by the sheer pressure that the credit crunch is putting on the global economy.”

The Japanese Nikkei 225 has recorded it’s third biggest drop in history with a massive sell-off in the exchange that has resulted in USD 250 billion being knocked of the index’s value.

Toyota, which is the second largest carmaker in the world, fell by the largest amount in 21 years, while Elpida Memory, the world’s largest manufacturer of computer memory, dropped in value to a record low.

Masafumi Oshiden, a fund manager in Toyota commented on the drop.”It’s capitulation,” he said. “There are lots of forced sellers. If you’re a fund that’s going bust you need to close out all your positions.”

George W. Bush commented on the financial situation earlier today. “Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market — much of it driven by uncertainty and fear,” he said. “This has been a deeply unsettling period for the American people. Many of our citizens have serious concerns about their retirement accounts, their investments, and their economic well-being.”

Bush then continued by promoting the government’s plan’s to get through the crises. “Here’s what the American people need to know: that the United States government is acting; we will continue to act to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets. We are a prosperous nation with immense resources and a wide range of tools at our disposal. We’re using these tools aggressively.”

Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister, also spoke on the economy. “I think we quickly realised that we cannot solve the problems we have got as a result of the sub-prime market collapse simply by improving liquidity,” he said speaking in Birmingham to business leaders earlier today. “That would simply not be enough to deal with the bigger problem of rebuilding the banking system for the future and restoring trust is a fundamental element of that.”

Jim Flaherty, the Canadian minister for finance, also commented today on the recent incidents in the economy. “It is important to underline that Canada’s banks and other financial institutions are sound, well capitalized and less leveraged than their international peers,” he claimed. “Our mortgage system is sound. Canadian households have smaller mortgages relative both to the value of their homes and to their disposable incomes than in the U.S.”

“”However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the continuing disruption of global credit markets, which has been severe and protracted, is making it difficult for our financial institutions to raise long-term funding. This is beginning to affect the availability of mortgage loans and other types of credit in Canada,” he continued. “The Government has therefore decided to act to address the current scarcity of private sector lending to Canadian mortgage markets and lending markets overall. This is going to make loans and mortgages more available and more affordable for ordinary Canadians and businesses.”

20:15, 10 October, 2008 (UTC)
  • DJIA
  • 8.451,19 128,00 1,49%
  • Nasdaq
  • 1.649,51 4,39 0.27%
  • S&P 500
  • 899,22 10,70 1,18%
  • S&P TSX
  • 9.264,57 335,61 3.50%
  • IPC
  • 19.952,30 357,87 1,76%
  • Merval
  • 1.215,990 71.340 5,54%
  • Bovespa
  • 35.615,26 1,474.03 3,97%
  • FTSE 100
  • 3.932,06 381,74 8,85%
  • DAX
  • 4.544,31 342,69 7,01%
  • CAC 40
  • 3.176,49 266,21 7,73%
  • SMI
  • 5.347,22 451,62 7,79%
  • AEX
  • 258,05 23,92 8,48%
  • BEL20
  • 2.123,44 117,44 5,24%
  • MIBTel
  • 15.438,00 1,081,00 6,54%
  • IBEX 35
  • 8.997,70 905,20 9,14%
  • All Ordinaries
  • 3.939,50 351,80 8,20%
  • Nikkei
  • 8.276,43 881,06 9,62%
  • Hang Seng
  • 14.796,90 1,146,37 7,19%
  • SSE Composite
  • 2.000,57 74,01 3,57%

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    U.S. army interrogator convicted in Iraqi general’s death

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    U.S. army interrogator convicted in Iraqi general’s death
    Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

    Monday, January 23, 2006

    A U.S. military court found Army chief warrant officer Lewis Welshofer guilty of negligent homicide in the death of Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush during an interrogation in al-Qaim in Iraq, near the Syrian border, in November 2003.

    The Iraqi general died after Welshofer shoved the general head-first into a sleeping bag, sat on him and occasionally covered the generals mouth with his hands. Welshofer’s supervisor had approved this technique except that Welshofer did not tell his supervisor that he sat on prisoners.

    The prosecution described the techniques Welshofer used to obtain information from Mowhoush as “torture“.

    The defense argued that Welshofer’s interrogation methods were covered by official policy. His unit’s commander Captain William Ponce wrote in an email three months before Mowhoush died that there were no rules for interrogations yet and that “the gloves are coming off, gentlemen … we want these individuals broken. Casualties are mounting.”Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the commanding officer in Iraq, authorized new interrogation techniques which according to Welshofer included the sleeping bag method.

    The jury consisting of six military officers also found Welshofer guilty of negligent dereliction of duty, but acquitted of the more serious murder and assault charges.

    Two days before his death, Mowhoush was beaten with rubber hoses, allegedly by CIA subcontractors, in the presence of Welshofer and on the next day Welshofer held Mowhoush while water was poured on this face.

    Welshinger testified that he had used the sleeping bag technique a dozen to two dozen times in Iraq.

    The sentencing is scheduled for Monday when Welshofer faces a maximum penalty of three years in a military prison. Last year U.S. army reservist Lynndie England was convicted of one count of conspiracy, four counts of maltreating detainees and one count of committing an indecent act and is currently serving her sentence of three years in prison. None of the charges levied against her involved the death of a detainee and her defense also argued that she was acting with consent of superiors.

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    Aerosmith sued over late cancellation of gig in Maui, Hawaii

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    Aerosmith sued over late cancellation of gig in Maui, Hawaii
    Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    Fans of the American hard rock band Aerosmith have launched legal action against the band in response to a late cancellation of a scheduled concert on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.

    Attorney Brandee Faria filed a class action suit in Hawaii Circuit Court on October 19. The suit alleges that the band’s cancellation cost fans between US$500,000 (€349,944) and $3 million (€2.1 million) in travel and accommodation costs, as well as other related expenses.

    The sold-out September 26 Maui concert – originally planned months before as the final show of a world tour that began in Brazil in April – was canceled by the band on the basis that they could not make it to the island in time after a September 24 concert in Chicago. The Chicago concert, which attracted 18,000 people, was rescheduled at the last minute after the original September 10 concert date had been postponed due to illness.

    The band canceled the show at Maui’s War Memorial Stadium, which was set to be attended by 9,000 people, and apologized to fans. The band’s management company, HK Management Inc., gave no initial reason when they canceled on September 20, but blamed logistical reasons by the next day.

    However, just days later, on September 29, the band traveled to the neighbor island of Oahu to play a corporate event in Honolulu for Toyota car dealers and private guests. An audience of 6,000 people celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Japanese automobile manufacturer at the University of Hawaii, with Toyota paying $500,000 (€349,944) to hire the campus. Aerosmith received $1 million (€700,000) to perform at the event. Faria alleges that Aerosmith abandoned the scheduled public concert on Maui in favor of the more lucrative corporate event on Oahu.

    “…Defendants simply canceled the only public performance by Aerosmith in favor of the larger Chicago venue and the lucrative, private concert for the Toyota car dealers,” the complaint states.

    Local officials had hoped the concert would attract other big names to the island.

    Faria said that “I’ve had people contact me being out of pocket at much as $800 or $900,” adding that if the cancellation is found to be deceptive ticket holders may be eligible for a minimum of $1,000 each. The complaint also says that those aged 62 or over should receive at least $5,000 each. Currently about a dozen ticket holders are involved with the suit. If the action is approved by a judge, steps will be taken to contact everyone who purchased a ticket.

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    Israeli company develops new radioactive waste conversion process

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    Israeli company develops new radioactive waste conversion process
    Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

    Friday, March 30, 2007

    Israeli firm Environmental Energy Resources (EER) has announced that it has developed a new technology, plasma gasification melting technology (PGM), to safely dispose of low- and medium-level nuclear waste. Extremely high temperatures are used to turn the waste into a mildly radioactive glass-like substance, which can be used as a building material. The process also releases an extremely hot mixture of gases that can be used to power steam turbines, generating electricity. The company claims that 70% of this electricity is used to drive the PGM process, while 30% is available as exportable energy.

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    Malware from mass SQL injections confirmed by security experts

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    Malware from mass SQL injections confirmed by security experts
    Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

    Thursday, June 5, 2008

    Nearly 20,000 websites have been attacked by unknown malicious computer users using a technique known as an SQL injection. The attackers have inserted code to install malware onto visitors’ computers. The code exploits a newly-discovered weakness in Adobe Flash Player, a very common web-browser plugin. The attacks prompted an investigation by the Taiwanese information security industry into the source of these attacks.

    An SQL injection is a common method employed by malicious users to attack and deface websites, arising from website mistakes in checking user input. Attackers take advantage of these weaknesses to inject information of their choosing into the website. For example, in June of 2007, Microsoft UK found its webpage changed to a picture of the Saudi Arabia flag, an attack which was carried out using an SQL injection.

    According to SecurityFocus, this most recent series of attacks stems from a vulnerability in versions 9.0.115.0 and 9.0.124.0 of Flash Player. It allows attackers to load any code they wish onto a computer running these versions of Flash.

    As the vulnerability in Flash is newly discovered, Adobe has not yet released a newer version which fixes the problem. For the time being, computer security experts recommend that internet users with one of the unprotected versions of Flash disable the plug-in on Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer to prevent malicious users from gaining control over their computers.

    The most recent version of the Flash Player, version 9.0.124.0, does not appear to be vulnerable to this exploit.

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    It’s a GLAM wrap: Curators meet collaborators at Canberra conference

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    It’s a GLAM wrap: Curators meet collaborators at Canberra conference
    Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

    Earlier this month, over 150 delegates from cultural institutions, government and the online community gathered at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra over one and a half days for the first GLAM-WIKI conference. The conference brought together representatives from the GLAM sector, comprising galleries, libraries, archives and museums, politicians, and members of the Wikimedia community (who edit the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and its sister sites), to enter into a dialogue regarding ways the three areas can work collaboratively to preserve and promote cultural collections online.

    Highlights from the conference included keynote speeches by Wikimedia Foundation Chief Program Officer Jennifer Riggs and Senator Kate Lundy, as well as a panel discussion on the political pressures involved in improving and disseminating GLAM organisations’ online collections featuring Senator Lundy as well as Senator Scott Ludlam, ACT Legislative Assembly shadow minister Alistair Coe, Government 2.0 Taskforce member Seb Chan, Adjunct Director to the Digital Library of the National Library of New Zealand Paul Reynolds and Kylie Johnson, the New Media Advisor for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Sessions focused on ways the Wikimedia and GLAM communities could better work together to further their missions of preserving, curating and sharing cultural knowledge, with streams examining the topics of legal and technical barriers, and the impact on business and education.

    Two case studies were presented at the conference, the first being the Powerhouse Museum’s experimental release of some of their photographic collection to Flickr Commons, and the second the collaboration between the German Wikimedia chapter and German Federal Archives to release their collection to Wikimedia Commons. While these and other projects were examined as successful forays into open content, the recent legal action between the United Kingdom’s National Portrait Gallery and a Wikimedian was raised in most sessions as an example of such efforts having negative consequences.

    Delegates at the conference engaged in heated discussion both on- and offline, with the #GLAM-WIKI tag on Twitter generating over 500 tweets during the course of the first day. Overall, feedback from participants was strongly positive over both the event and its plans for the future.

    Liam Wyatt, the Vice President of the Australian Wikimedia Chapter and organiser of the event, was impressed by the turnout. According to Wyatt, “at 170 registrations it is one of the largest Wikimedia events ever, after [international Wikimedia conference] Wikimania, and to be able to offer that for no attendance fee is testament to the support we received from our partners – most especially the WMF … There are many proposals and discussions that are now starting up as a result of the event and, rightly, these may take quite some time to bear fruit. However, what I think we have achieved immediately is to take the heat out of the debate between the cultural sector and the Wikimedia community.”

    Jennifer Riggs was similarly impressed by the dialogue that came as a result of the conference. “It’s gone terrifically, really. People have had the opportunity to be really frank about the concerns that they have.”

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