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Report says disappearing life threatens biodiversity

Report says disappearing life threatens biodiversity

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A global review of threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates drastic decline of animal and plant life. This includes a quarter of all mammals, one out of eight birds, one out of three amphibians and 70 percent of plants.

The report, Red List of Threatened Species, is published by IUCN every year. Additionally a global assessment of the health of the world’s species is released once in four years. The data is compiled by 1,700 experts in 130 countries.

The key findings of the report were announced today at the World Conservation Congress being held in Barcelona, Spain. The congress, held every four years, will deliberate over the next 10 days actions required to slow the rate of species extinction.

The survey includes 44,838 species of wild fauna and flora, out of which 16,928 species are threatened with extinction. Among the threatened, 3,246 are tagged critically endangered, the highest category of threat. Another 4,770 species are endangered and 8,912 vulnerable to extinction.

Our results paint a bleak picture of the global status of mammals worldwide. We estimate that one in four species is threatened with extinction and that the population of one in two is declining.

The latest review includes a survey covering all 5,487 mammal species, out of which 1,141 are considered threatened with extinction. The study notes 79 percent of primate species in South and Southeast Asia are threatened with extinction. This companion study on mammals is being published this week in the journal Science.

“Our results paint a bleak picture of the global status of mammals worldwide,” Jan Schipper, lead author and his co-authors said in the mammalian study. “We estimate that one in four species is threatened with extinction and that the population of one in two is declining.”

However there is some cheer for the conservationists. It is revealed that 5% of the currently threatened species are recovering, including the European bison and black-footed ferret.

“We are now emerging from the Dark Ages of conservation knowledge, when we relied on data from a highly restricted subset of species,” says Jonathan Baillie, director of conservation programmes at the Zoological Society of London. “We will expand the scope further to include a far broader range of groups, thus informing and assisting policy-makers in a hugely more objective and representative manner.”

Prince Philip of UK makes last solo public engagement after 65 years

Prince Philip of UK makes last solo public engagement after 65 years

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The United Kingdom’s Prince Philip, 96, performed his last solo official royal public engagement, before retiring from his official duties as the consort of Queen Elizabeth II after 65 years of service, with a Captain General’s parade of the Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

As the Captain General, he took the royal salute and inspected the soldiers to mark the end of the 1664 Global Challenge. He told the soldiers humorously “You all should be locked up” after they completed a 2,678 kilometer (1664 mile) trek in support of the Royal Marines Charity. 

Buckingham Palace announced Philip’s retirement plan in May. Philip succeeded King George VI — Elizabeth’s father — as Captain General of marines in 1953, the year after she succeeded him as monarch. On the announcement in May, Prime Minister Theresa May offered her well wishes and gratitude to Prince Philip, 95 years old at the time.

Lady Myra Butter, an acquaintance of Philip’s for more than eight decades, said on BBC Radio 4 program Today, of Philip’s future after retirement, “I’m sure that he won’t disappear, he will be greatly missed by everybody. He’s been such a stable character in all our lives — he’s always there and he’s always been there for the Queen and I think we’re very, very lucky to have him.”

Serving longer than any other British consort, Philip has made 22,219 solo public engagements as consort, 637 solo overseas visits, 5,496 speeches, and 14 books. He currently supports or belongs to more than 780 organisations.

Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, is a nephew of late King Constantine I of Greece, and was born on the Greek island of Corfu. Philip is a former naval officer and courted Elizabeth during his service in the Royal Navy. He married her in 1947 in Westminster Abbey. This November will be their 70th wedding anniversary. Elizabeth described Philip as “my strength and stay”.

Israel announces 10 month halt to settlement construction in West Bank

Israel announces 10 month halt to settlement construction in West Bank

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The prime minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, told a news conference earlier today that there will be a ten-month stop in the construction of new settlement housing in the West Bank. The Israeli cabinet approved the move by a margin of eleven to one.

“We have been told by our friends that once Israel takes the first meaningful steps towards peace, the Arab world and the Palestinians will follow,” said Netanyahu following the cabinet’s endorsement of the move. “Well, the government of Israel has taken a very big step towards peace today, and I hope the Palestinian and the Arab world will work with us to forge a new beginning for our children and theirs.”

The freeze was made “out of broad national interests with the aim of encouraging negotiations with our Palestinian neighbours,” he continued. “When the period of freeze ends my government will return to the previous policy of building in Judea and Samaria [the Jewish name for the West Bank].”

“This is a far-reaching and painful step […] We hope that this decision will help launch meaningful negotiations to reach an historic peace agreement that will finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” Netanyahu later said.

Under the plan, construction permits for new residential buildings would be put on hold for ten months. The government said that “natural growth” — characterised by the construction of homes by young people, who were raised in the settlements and want to build houses for their own families — would be exempt from the freeze. Parts of the West Bank that Israel annexed to the Jerusalem municipality would also be excluded from the freeze. The building of schools and places of worship, which will enable settlers to live what Netanyahu described as “normal lives”, will also continue.

“We will not halt existing construction and we will continue to build synagogues, schools, kindergartens and public buildings essential for normal life in the settlements,” he commented.

The prime minister added that there would be no change to Israel’s existing policy on the issue of Jerusalem. “Regarding Jerusalem, our sovereign capital, our position is well-known. We do not put any restrictions on building in our sovereign capital,” he said.

Several members of the Israeli cabinet expressed their disapproval at the proposal, with the conservative, ultra-Orthodox Shas party boycotting the cabinet meetings.

“I think it’s a complete crumbling of Netanyahu’s position and is contrary to all of his electoral promises. He promised an end to unilateral steps, and here we see him after only a few months in office giving up, even though there is no reciprocity from the Palestinians,” said the head of the main settler lobby, Danny Dayan, to the Christian Science Monitor. We are 300,000 citizens, living in 150 communities. It is impossible to freeze us. I don’t how it will happen, but we will break this freeze.”

Many Palestinians also criticised the proposal, mainly because East Jerusalem was not included in the settlement freeze. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a Palestinian spokesman, said to the Wafa news agency that Palestine “rejects returning to peace talks without the complete cessation of settlement activities in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad also rejected the plan. “The exclusion of east Jerusalem is a very, very serious problem for us. We are not looking for the resumption of the process just for the sake of it, for it to falter a week or two down the road,”

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordanian control, following Israel’s victory in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The Jewish state annexed that part of the city in a move that was not recognized by the international community.

Earlier this week, on a visit to Argentina, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stepped up his campaign to put international pressure on Israel to stop building on lands that Palestinians say are their own. Abbas urged US president Barack Obama, as well as leaders of other nations that support Israel, to press the Jewish state to end its construction of settlements on occupied lands.

Netanyahu has in the past offered to restrain settlement growth, but today’s announcement was the first time that he set a clear timeframe.

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2007 Major League Soccer Playoffs: FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo

2007 Major League Soccer Playoffs: FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo

Friday, November 2, 2007

November 2, 200719:40 (UTC-6)
FC Dallas 1–4 Houston Dynamo Robertson Stadium, Houston Attendance: 30,088 Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Ruiz 14′ (1)Sala 24’Sala 25’Burse 25’Denilson 39’Gbandi 44’Alvarez  47’Denilson 50’Ricchetti 50’Serioux 78’Serioux 80’Oduro 80’Moor 99’Moor  119’Ricchetti 120′ Match Report 28′ Mulrooney 40′ Robinson 48′ Waibel 48′ Holden 61′ Jaqua 61′ Ngwenya 67′ (1) Holden 72′ (1) Ching 97′ (2) Ching 98′ Onstad 100′ (1) Davis 109′ De Rosario

Houston Dynamo defeated FC Dallas 4-1 (4-2 on aggregate) to advance to the Western Conference semi-finals.

FC Dallas took the lead on what was their only shot on goal in the 1st half. Houston Dynamo, who had 24 shots in the 120 minutes played, equalized in the 67th minute and equalized the aggregate score 72nd minute. The match went into extra time where Brian Ching scored his 2nd of the night to give Houston the aggregate lead. Brad Davis sealed the victory in the 100th minute.

Houston Dynamo will face the winner of the Kansas City Wizards/Chivas USA 2 legged affair.

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Bush’s Katrina statement contradicted by emerging evidence

Bush’s Katrina statement contradicted by emerging evidence

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Recently emerging evidence seems to contradict a statement by United States President George W. Bush during Hurricane Katrina. He stated in an interview with ABC on September 1st that, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees”.

One of the first items to emerge, a video obtained by the Associated Press, shows footage of Bush during a video-conference received at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, on August 29, 2005, 19 hours before landfall of Hurricane Katrina. During the briefing, Director of the National Hurricane Center Max Mayfield warned, “I don’t think anyone can tell you with any confidence right now whether levees will be topped or not, but there is obviously a very, very great concern”.

In addition, Michael D. Brown, then director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), reported that he had spoken with President Bush twice in the morning and that the president was asking about reports that the levees had been breached.

Brown would state later on CNN that, “There’s no question in my mind he probably had those reports (about breaches in the levees), because we were feeding in the Homeland Security Operations Center, into the White House sit room, all of the information that we were getting. So he had to have had that information. Plus, I think the president knew from our earlier conversations that that was one of my concerns, that the levees could actually breach”.[1]

In July 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency completed an exercise called “Hurricane Pam”, which, dealt with the scenario of a direct hit on New Orleans by a hurricane with 120 mph winds (a Category 3). It resulted in “10 to 20 feet of water within the City of New Orleans,” according to January 24 congressional testimony by the president of the company that designed the Hurricane Pam exercise.[2]

A report FEMA sent to the White House Situation Room on August 29th, they cited death and destruction anticipated by the “Hurricane Pam” exercise and warned that Katrina was likely to be worse. “Exercise projection is exceeded by Hurricane Katrina real-life impacts,” they stated. Furthermore, “The potential for severe storm surge to overwhelm Lake Pontchartrain levees is the greatest concern for New Orleans. Any storm rated Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson (hurricane) scale will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching. This could leave the New Orleans metro area submerged for weeks or months”.[3]

When the report was released, Hurricane Katrina was thought to be a Category 4 as of landfall (though after analysis, it’s power at landfall would be downgraded to a Category 3).[4]

White House officials previously clarified Bush’s earlier comment, saying that the president was referring to the hours after Katrina swept through and news reports as of August 30th suggested the city had “dodged a bullet”, which led to surprise when reports reached them of the levee breaches.[5][6] Contrasting this was the August 30th broadcast of NBC’s Today, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams reported at 7:05 a.m. ET, “There has been a huge development overnight … the historic French Quarter, dry last night and it is now filling with water. This is water from nearby Lake Pontchartrain; the levees failed overnight.”[7]

categories Uncategorized | June 22, 2018 | comments Comments (0)

2008 TaiSPO: Interview with Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva

2008 TaiSPO: Interview with Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva

Friday, March 28, 2008

2008 Taipei International Cycle Show (Taipei Cycle) & Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO) not only did a best reunion with conjunctions of the launch of Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition and the concurrent cycling race of 2008 Tour de Taiwan but also provide opportunities and benefits for sporting goods, bicycle, and athlete sports industries to establish the basis of the sourcing center in Asia and notabilities on the international cycling race.

Although the Taipei cycle was split from the TaiSPO since 1988, but the trends of sporting good industry in Taiwan changed rapidly and multiply because of modern people’s lifestyles and habits. After the “TaiSPO Innovation Award” was established since 2005, the fitness and leisure industries became popular stars as several international buyers respected on lifestyle and health.

For example, some participants participated Taipei Cycle and TaiSPO with different product lines to do several marketing on bicycle and fitness equipments, this also echoed the “Three New Movements” proposed by Giant Co., Ltd. to make a simple bicycle with multiple applications and functions. As of those facts above, Wikinews Journalist Rico Shen interviewed Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva, designer of “3G Steeper” to find out the possibilities on the optimizations between two elements, fitness and bicycle.

categories Uncategorized | June 21, 2018 | comments Comments (0)

Popular soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless’ celebrates 35 years on the air

Popular soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless’ celebrates 35 years on the air

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The popular American soap opera The Young and the Restless, currently the reigning Emmy Award-winner for best daytime drama, celebrated 35 years on the air Wednesday.

The 35th anniversary also comes after the series, known colloquially as Y&R, marked its 1,000th straight week as the highest-rated soap opera in a daytime slot. In addition to keeping the #1 spot every week since December 1988, Y&R has also been the top-rated soap in the African-American demographic since 1991.

A trend-setter since the beginning, Y&R relied on character-driven storytelling, accentuated with understated sexuality from its cast, which at that time was mostly young, in order to bring in teenage and twentysomething viewers who were ignored by soap producers and networks up to that time. These traits immediately set Y&R apart from other soap operas, and other soaps have since mimicked Y&R’s formulaic approach to offering something for everyone, especially younger viewers.

Since premiering on March 26, 1973, Y&R has become a worldwide cultural institution in its own right, racking up an impressive 100 Emmy Awards between the writers, producers, cast and crew since 1974. The show has aired in over 100 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey, and reaches a worldwide audience of ten million daily. So far-reaching was Y&R’s appeal that Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci chose the serial’s theme song as accompanying music to her floor exercises at the 1976 Summer Olympics. In Australia, where Y&R has aired since 1974, the show was canceled by the original network that aired it in 2007, prompting a widespread fan backlash in that country. It was quickly moved to a pay channel.

Over the past 35 years, countless characters, marriages, divorces, births, deaths, and every joy and trauma in between have visited the residents of Genoa City, where Y&R is set. To commemorate the milestone, Mike Halterman from Wikinews interviewed three actresses who have played long-running characters on Y&R, and asked them to share their memories. All three responded to questions about what being on Y&R means to them, what their favorite storylines were, what they perhaps would have wanted to do all over again, and what they’d love to tell their fans directly.

Below are portions of all three interviews.


  • 1 Wikinews interviews Y&R cast members
    • 1.1 Questions asked to all three
    • 1.2 Questions asked to Melody Thomas Scott
    • 1.3 Questions asked to Michelle Stafford
    • 1.4 Questions asked to Tricia Cast
  • 2 Sources

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State Farm Insurance allegedly destroying papers

State Farm Insurance allegedly destroying papers

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Zach Scruggs, a lawyer for United States Senator Trent Lott, says that State Farm Insurance Company is destroying records related to claims for damage from Hurricane Katrina.

The records allegedly contain information saying that State Farm fraudulently denied insurance claims made by its policy holders, including Lott, that had homes there were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the Gulf Coast.

Scruggs said that Lott has “good faith belief” that many employees of the insurance company in Biloxi, Mississippi are destroying engineer’s reports that were inconclusive as to whether or not water or wind was the main cause of damage to the buildings affected by the hurricane.

Lott is among thousands of home and/or business owners who had their property damaged or destroyed during the hurricane and had their claims denied because State Farm claimed that their policies don’t cover damage caused by floods or water that was driven by the wind.

State Farm has not issued a statement on the matter so far.

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Improve Soccer Skills Find The Youth Soccer Player Development Center!}

Improve soccer skills -Find the youth soccer player development center!


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categories Sport | June 20, 2018 | comments Comments (0)

Extremist group claims responsibility for killing of American diplomat in Sudan

Extremist group claims responsibility for killing of American diplomat in Sudan

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A previously unknown militant group has claimed responsibility for killing a United States diplomat in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on New Year’s Day.

The group, calling itself Ansar al-Tawhid (Companions of Monotheism), said its members shot 33-year-old John Granville and his Sudanese driver Abdel Rahman Abbas. The name of the militant group has been used by many other groups of extremists in other areas of the world.

It was not immediately possible to authenticate the claim, which was posted on a Web site used by Islamists.

Granville was being driven home on New Year’s Day when another vehicle cut his car off, and assailants opened fire.

FBI agents and other U.S. investigators have traveled to Sudan to investigate the shooting.

Sudan’s foreign ministry has said the shooting was an isolated incident with no political connotations. Sudanese media reports quoted a government official earlier this week as saying there is no evidence the attack was an act of terrorism.

U.S.-Sudanese relations have been tense because of the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region. The shooting happened one day after a joint United NationsAfrican Union force took over peacekeeping duties in Darfur.

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