Owner and manager of Moroccan factory arrested over 55-fatality fire

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Police have arrested the owner of a mattress factory in Hay Hassini, Casablanca, Morocco which burned down in a disaster that claimed 55 lives. His son, who was the factory’s manager, was also arrested.

Those killed — 35 of whom were women — were trapped inside by locked fire exits, which were barricaded to stop theft during working hours. “The people who died were either asphyxiated or burned,” commented a firefighter. 17 were wounded. Moustapha Taouil of the Casablanca civil protection service said the blaze was triggered by an inadequatly maintained electric saw on the ground floor. The initial fire quickly engulfed all four storeys of the building.

The Rosamor factory was clearly operating unsafely, officials said. “It’s a building with a ground floor and three upper floors specialising in making furniture, therefore there were highly inflammable products,” said Taouil. “We confirmed during our examination that the owners of the premises failed to respect legal requirements for this kind of industry including staff training… the owner in contravention of the law, locked staff inside the plant apparently to prevent theft of raw material. It was this that prevented them getting out. The fire was caused by lack of proper maintenance of certain machines and electrical installations.” He said a short circuit on the ground floor, which was filled with power saws, triggered the disaster.

As a result of the investigatons, “The plant’s owner, Adil Moufarreh, and his son Abdelali Moufarreh, who was the manager, have been taken into custody after having been questioned by police,” said an official.

28-year-old factory employee Fadila Khadija said “There was no emergency exit, the extinguishers were empty and the working conditions were difficult.” One source said that windows were also unusable as they were covered with iron bars. 20-year-old survivor Omar Elaaz said “I was working on the first floor as an upholsterer. The smoke came up from the ground floor where the foam rubber, wood and glue are stored. I used a gas bottle to break the wire mesh that protects every window.” 31-year-old upholsterer Hakim Hakki told of his own lucky escape and its effect on him from hospital: “I jumped from the third floor with four other colleagues while the women, who didn’t dare to follow us, perished in the inferno. God saved me but I’ll never forget those who died.”

The father of deceased 19-year-old Abdelazziz Darif said his son was paid 250 dirhams (20 euro/31 US dollars) per week and did not have social insurance.

Native Hawaiian sovereignty bill to be debated in U.S. Senate in June

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

The U.S. Senate has scheduled debate and a vote in June on a bill that would allegedly initiate a process for Native Hawaiians to achieve the same level of self-governance and autonomy over their own affairs that many Native American tribes currently have. Critics of the bill characterize it as going much further than any existing tribal recognition, creating a governing entity based solely on race, without the same requirements as needed for Native American tribal recognition, such as having existed predominantly as a distinct community, having exercised political influence over its members as an autonomous entity, and have continuously been identified as a tribal entity since 1900.

Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), the main proponent of bill S. 147 (the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act) and a Native Hawaiian himself, had been giving daily speeches on the Senate floor since May 9 in support of the bill to raise awareness of it. His advocacy of the bill has led it to become known as the “Akaka Bill.” Opponents of the Akaka bill have made daily responses to the Senator’s speeches as well.

“I thank our majority leader, the senior senator from Tennessee, who is working to uphold his commitment to bring this bill to the Senate floor for a debate and roll call vote,” Akaka said after receiving the pledge from Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) on Friday. He also recognized his chief opponent, Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who worked with Akaka “to uphold his promise to allow the bill to come to the floor for a debate and roll call vote.”

Frist is expected to file a cloture motion after the Senate returns from its May recess. A vote on the cloture motion would occur within 48 hours of filing.

Opponents of the bill, including Kyl, charge that the bill is a race-based privilege that the U.S. Constitution prohibits. Others, such as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) imply that passage of the bill could have unintended consequences. In a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday that preceded Akaka’s, Alexander likened the bill to recognizing Hispanic populations descended from pre-republican Texas or giving tribal status to the Amish or Hasidic Jews, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported.

Akaka believes that he has bipartisan support for his bill, with four Republican senators pledging support for it. At least six Republican senators would need to vote for the bill for it to pass, assuming that the bill receives solid support from Akaka’s fellow Democrats and the chamber’s one independent member who usually votes with the Democrats.

A recent report from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission recommended that the bill be rejected. [1](PDF)

The Commission recommends against passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S. 147) as reported out of committee on May 16, 2005, or any other legislation that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege.

Although the U.S. Civil Rights Commission redacted the findings section of their draft report before approving their final report, opponents of the Akaka bill have challenged the characterization of the findings section as being “historically inaccurate” by Akaka bill supporters.

Supporters of the bill, which include the Democratic members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation and Republican governor Linda Lingle, counter that Hawaii is a unique case because of its former history as an independent nation before the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.

Kyl had placed a block on the bill when it was originally placed on the Senate schedule in July 2005, but has since agreed to allow the bill to come to a floor vote. The bill was later deferred indefinitely due in part to Hurricane Katrina.

US: Evidentiary documents released in Golden State Killer case

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Friday, June 1, 2018

On Friday, the Sacramento, California County Superior Court in the United States, with Judge Michael Sweet presiding, publicly released approximately 123 heavily redacted pages from an 800 page document related to the trial of 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo, in the Golden State Killer (GSK) case. The high profile case prompted the defense to motion delaying the release on the grounds of jury tainting.

From 1974 to 1986, there were 12 murders, 45 rapes, and 120 burglaries ascribed to the GSK. Many of these crimes were initially attributed to separate suspects, and California investigators coined such nicknames as “East Area Rapist”, “Original Night-stalker”, “Visalli Ransacker”, and “Diamond Knot Killer”. All these identities were later determined to be the GSK. DeAngelo is currently being charged with first degree murder with special circumstances, and is being further investigated for the 1975 first degree murder of Claude Snelling.

GSK’s alleged victims include 18-year-old Janelle Lisa Cruz on May 4, 1986; 35-year-old Cheri Domingo on July 27, 1981; 27-year-old Greg Sanchez on July 27, 1981; 24-year-old Keith Harrington on August 21, 1975; 27-year-old Patti Harrington on August 21, 1975; 21-year-old Brian Maggiore on February 2, 1978; 20-year-old Katie Maggiore on February 2, 1978; 44-year-old Dr. Robert Offerman on December 30, 1979; 35-year-old Debra Manning on December 30, 1979; 35-year-old Lyman Smith on March 13, 1980; 33-year-old Charlene Smith on March 13, 1980; 45-year-old Claude Snelling on September 11, 1975; and 28-year-old Manuela Witthuhn on February 5, 1981.

Law enforcement used DNA and other evidence to link the twelve known murders attributed to the GSK to suspect DeAngelo. Any DNA from rape kits and burglaries that predates 1970 is only admissible in court for murder cases because of California’s statute of limitations. The DNA evidence allegedly implicating DeAngelo was not found through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, which catalogs 20 sections of DNA from local, state, federal, and some international agencies making a unique profile for 16 million individuals, but CODIS did rule out other GSK suspects, like Paul “Cornfed” Schneider and Joe Alsip.

Instead, law enforcement used a nuance investigative technique, comparing GSK’s DNA profile against the open-sourced GEDmatch’s genealogical DNA database. The GEDmatch’s database flagged a GSK blood relative and, with other evidence, DeAngelo was suspected of being involved with GSK’s crimes. The genealogical website methodology is not unique to the GSK case. GEDmatch’s database was also used to identify 51-year-old William Earl Talbott II in the 1987 rape and homicide of Jay Cook (20) and Tanya Van Cuylenborg (18) in Seattle, Washington.

The newly released documents reveal DeAngelo’s DNA was not collected via a warrant but rather from the door handle of his personal vehicle as he was shopping in a local Hobby Lobby on April 18. A secondary sample was collected from a tissue found in the garbage on April 23. The door handle and tissue DNA were compared to a semen sample from a known GSK murder that had been confirmed using the CODIS’s 20 section DNA profile standard. On April 24, DeAngelo was arrested for the twelve GSK murders. A warrant for DeAngelo’s Citrus Heights, California residence disclosed dozens of wedding rings, photographs, driver’s licenses, and other objects allegedly taken from victims as trophies.

Public defender David Lynch, tasked with defending DeAngelo, motioned for the 800 documents to be sealed until trial to prevent the jury from becoming tainted. Lynch has also questioned the validity of certain search warrants for undisclosed reasons. Prosecutors from Sacramento, Ventura, Orange, and Santa Barbara counties have not determined the best way to prosecute DeAngelo considering the complexity, age, and multiple jurisdictions of the case.

DeAngelo was, until 1979, a police officer in small California towns. After allegedly stealing a hammer and dog repellent, DeAngelo was subsequently fired from the Auburn, California police force. He later became a truck mechanic near Sacramento.

[edit]

Australia: Victorian government to trial driverless vehicles on public roads

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Yesterday, the state government of Victoria, Australia announced their decision to trial self-driving vehicles on two of the state’s major connecting motorways, the CityLink and Tullamarine Freeway. The trial is to use autonomous vehicles from automobile companies including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Tesla. The two-year trial is to have three phases.

The cars are to drive alongside commuters, but in public testing a driver is always to be present, as Victorian law requires drivers always keep a hand on the steering wheel. However, in occasional closures of the Burnley Tunnel, with no other drivers to endanger, the cars are to be tested with nobody in the vehicle.

Lane assist, cruise control, and recognition of traffic signs are in the trial’s first phase, expected to complete before the end of the year. This includes monitoring how the driver-less cars respond to road conditions, including lane markings and electronic speed signs.

“Victoria is at the forefront of automated vehicle technology — we’re investing in this trial to explore ways that this technology can be used to reduce crashes and keep people safe on our roads”, said Luke Donnellan, the Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety. He noted, “Ninety per cent of the fault of accidents is human error […] so we know that if we can take out human error we will have less accidents”.

Tim Hansen, Victoria Police’s Acting Assistant Commissioner, said that police had founded a project team to investigate how self-driving vehicles would change policing on roads. “Can we intercept vehicles more safely to avoid pursuits and ramming?”, he asked.

The trial is a partnership between the state government, Victoria’s road management authority VicRoads, owner of the CityLink toll road Transurban, and insurance company RACV.

China’s winter weather threatens food supplies

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Chinese official says harsh winter weather is threatening food production and adding to inflationary pressures. Political pressure is also building on the government for its failure to anticipate and solve the problems.

A top Chinese disaster relief official was quoted by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper Thursday as calling it the worst natural disaster since the People’s Republic was founded in 1949.

Tens of millions of Chinese have been affected by the snowstorms across the central and southern parts of the country. Hundreds of thousands are camping out in train stations, hoping the snowed-in trains will start running again to take them home for the lunar new year holiday. An unknown number of people are stranded on icy highways, cut off from adequate heat and food.

The situation is so serious that Premier Wen Jiabao has personally visited train stations in Hunan and Guangdong provinces in the past couple of days. He is telling stranded workers the government is trying to get transportation moving so they can get home for the holiday. But other officials have advised migrant workers to forget about going home, and stay in their places of work.

Officials say unusually low temperatures and heavy snowfalls have destroyed crops and greenhouses, and are severely affecting winter food production. Chen Xiwen is the deputy director of the Communist Party‘s leading financial team.

Chen says the impact of the disaster in southern China on winter crop production is extremely serious. He says the impact on fresh vegetables and fruit has been catastrophic in some places.

Prices for fresh fruit and vegetables have doubled in some of the worst-hit areas. The situation is exacerbating the rise in food prices that began last year.

China’s consumer price index rose nearly 5 percent for all of 2007, and was up 6.5 percent in December alone. A major part of the increase was in food prices.

Chen, however, says he does not expect inflation this month to get worse, despite the crop damage being caused by the snow.

Chen says winter grain and edible oils are grown mainly in the north, which is outside the storms’ reach, and winter wheat production will not be seriously affected.

Two weeks of ice and snowstorms have killed more than 60 people and caused more than three billion dollars in direct damage.

China’s top weather expert told state media Thursday the storms will last well into the new year holiday, which begins February 6.

The lunar new year is China’s most important holiday. Normally, tens of millions of people would be heading home at this time.

How To Use A Reading Glasses Eye Chart

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By Suzanne Hughes

Finding the right power for your reading glasses just got a whole lot easier. It used to be that people would put on any pair of readers, not paying attention to which power they need, and use their arm as an auto focuser.

Have you ever noticed someone at the restaurant struggling to see the menu? They pull out a pair of glasses to ease their eyes. But two seconds later, grab the candle to help them see even better. Then move their arm back and forth as an auto focuser. This person is not wearing the proper correction in their reading glasses.

So how do you avoid this situation? Simple, understand how readers work and what power you need to see that menu. The first thing to understand is that higher power readers work great to magnify the little print. However, the higher the power in your readers, the less range of focus you will have.

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The second thing to understand is the role that lighting plays in your vision. Good lighting can mean the difference between a +1.50 and a +2.00. What does this mean for you? If you have a good lamp at your side when reading the paper, a +1.50 will allow you to scan the entire paper better. However, if your lighting is dim you may need a +2.00 reader. A little tip for all you reading glass wearers: If you carry a pair with you to go the restaurants or shopping, get a power slightly stronger than you normally wear. This will allow you to see those tiny price tags, read ingredient labels, and see that menu.

One other thing to understand about reading glasses is that they are completely safe for your eyes and you really cant mess this up too bad. If you get the wrong power, they simply wont work as well for you and your needs. But wouldnt it be wiser to get the right lens correction to begin with?

Reading glasses come in plus powers. They will range from +1.00 to +3.00, pronounced plus one. A +1.50 is pronounced as plus one fifty, and so on. A lower number depicts a lower the magnification and of course the higher the number, the greater the magnification.

The easiest way to figure the exact power you should be wearing is view a near vision eye chart. Eye charts are widely available online, one can be found at http://www.readinstyle.com this eye chart has text of a specific size. Simply hold the chart at your comfortable reading distance. Looking at the text, which is the smallest line you can see clearly? To the side of that text will be a reading glass power. That is all there is to it. That power is the power you should have in your reading correction.

About the Author: Suzanne Hughes has posted an eye chart online at http://www.readinstyle.com. After you figure out the power you need, you will find plenty of

designer reading glasses

that come in the correction you need.

Source:

isnare.com

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isnare.com/?aid=109656&ca=Medicines+and+Remedies

Apple introduces iPhone and Apple TV

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Apple Inc. today has introduced the much-anticipated iPhone at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco.

The iPhone is claimed to be “a revolutionary mobile phone” as stated on the Apple website. The device appears to be running a mobile version of the Apple operating system Mac OSX. It is approximately the same size as a 5th generation iPod, it has a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen display that is used to access all features of the phone including number dial, as well as making phone calls. The iPhone plays music, movies, displays pictures and is able to connect to a wireless network.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the device by walking onto the stage and taking the iPhone out of his jeans pocket. During his 2 hour speech he stated that “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone, We are going to make history today”.

Today Apple also released their Media Center device – Apple TV. It will directly compete with Microsoft’s Media Center operating system. Apple has taken a different approach to the media center market; rather than storing content (such as movies, music and photos) on the device, Apple TV connects to a computer (Mac and Windows) over a wirless network connection and plays all content stored on that computer. This makes it substantially easier for users to organize their media content.

Cadillac unveils Obama’s ‘Beast’, the 2009 Presidential State Car

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The US Secret Service has released the first photos Wednesday of the new presidential limousine that will transport Barack Obama down Pennsylvania Avenue next Tuesday as part of the 56th Presidential inaugural parade after he is sworn in at the Capitol. The First Limo – the 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine – will replace President Bush’s Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine that rolled out in 2004.

Nicknamed “The Beast”, the hulking machine is a new model year 2009, modified limousine. According to General Motors, the new “2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine” is the first not to carry a specific model name. The Obama Mobile was introduced on January 14 with noticeably different styling borrowed from the Cadillac Escalade and STS, while the suspension is most likely related to the Chevrolet Kodiak medium-duty truck.

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Mr. David Caldwell of General Motors has revealed that the sleek black car would include a hand-crafted interior and “state of the art electronics.” The car’s high-tech security features include five-inch-thick (12.7-centimeter-thick) bombproof glass, tough-as-nails tires, and a sealed interior that’s invulnerable to chemical attack. The armoured limousine has been heavily modified to withstand potential attacks by weapons or bombs. The San Francisco Chronicle puts it in a proper perspective noting, “a half-inch of transparent armor is enough to stop a .44 Magnum round at point-blank range; at a thickness of 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches, the same material can withstand higher-velocity bullets fired from military assault rifles.”

According to spy photographer, Brenda Priddy, and General Motors, the limousine, which has the intricate, dual-textured grille, is also equipped with standard Goodyear Regional RHS truck tires in a 285/70R19.5 size, on 19.5-inch wheels. The rims have a run-flat device (manufactured by Hutchinson Industries). Xenon headlights from the Escalade are installed in the front, while the rear has some STS part. The doors are at least 20 centimeters (8 inches) thick. It carries the US flag on the front fenders and an embroidered Seal of the President of the United States is affixed to several panels in the back.

According to the US Secret Service, the vehicle would be a “valuable asset” in providing the President with the highest level of protection. “Although many of the vehicle’s security enhancements cannot be discussed, it is safe to say that this car’s security and coded communications systems make it the most technologically advanced protection vehicle in the world,” Nicholas Trotta, Assistant Director for the Office of Protective Operations said in a statement. The new limousine is the responsibility of White House Transportation Agency.

One of the specifications is that we don’t talk about the specifications.

The Presidential State Car is the official state car used by the President of the United States. It is informally known as “Cadillac One”. The current Presidential State Car is a 2005 hand-crafted, armored, and stretched DTS (DeVille Touring Sedan) built on a GM four-wheel drive platform. It was first used on the second inauguration parade of George W. Bush in 2005. But the version to be used by President Obama uses a GMC Topkick chassis, while maintaining the Cadillac exterior.

The President of the United States travels in one of two armoured Cadillac limousines based upon the normal sedan, the Cadillac DTS, with heavy customisation. Lincoln cars have also been used in the past, most notably by President John F Kennedy. The current limousines were custom-built by O’Gara, Hess and Eisenhart, founded in Fairfield, Ohio in 1942. It specializes in armouring limousines for presidents and heads of state.

President William McKinley was the first US president to ride in an automobile. However, it was President Theodore Roosevelt who rode on the first government-owned car, a white Stanley Steamer. Roosevelt’s successor, William Howard Taft, was the first president to use a presidential state car that was permanently stored in the White House garage.

Meanwhile, Obama’s 2005 Chrysler 300C Hemi was auctioned on eBay with a starting bid of $100,000 and a buy-it-now price of $1,000,000. It has less than 21,000 miles on it and is in like-new condition. He leased the car in 2004 and traded it for a Ford Escape Hybrid in 2007. The car was sold to Tim O’Boyle.

Data Center Management Software For Your Data Center Needs

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Data center management software for your data center needs by Jai Prakash SrivastavaNo type of complication should come in between the way of achieving your business goals or getting superior agility. For a majority of businesses, data center is an important part of everyday functioning. Preserving the data assists you in running your company and any form of downtime leads to time and money wastage. To stay away from a problem rose due to data center can turn out to be a great barrier in smooth running of a business. It is necessary to avail industry leading software, hardware, firmware and specialized solutions to deal with the data center challenges. The best place for accessing all of these services to assist your business effectually deal with different data centre challenges is Internet. Online you will find integration means to facility or IT management systems for the acquisition of the real world data. The data center management available integrates with other IT systems for data synchronization with systems, including change management, proprietary systems, and virtual systems management along with automation. Also, you will find data center manager software, which will enable you to do visualization of your complete data centre infrastructure via the rack to components and devices in those devices. Complete documentation is made in the system for managing the compound environment. Data center management software gives the aptitude for analyzing the data in graphical and tabular formats. With the help of data center manager software, you will be able to make wise decisions, allow everyday efficiencies along with operations required for practical management.Visualization through data center manager further allows adding selectable layers for displaying heat generation, power consumption and signal or power port availability. More layers can also be added for exhibiting the door swings, location, hot cold aisles along with density of the perforated tiles. This is primarily to make absolutely customized displays. The users can drill to greater detail, from data center to the device, to the rack as well as components such as power supplies, blades and drives among others. Documentation through data center management software gives detailed and clear reporting of the IT infrastructure. Customized reports including the kind of sources used along with the summarized per data centre and row. The custom properties also can be utilized for sowing how the devices associate to the applications. The usual report vary from assembly report, which gives thorough instruction for assembling and cabling a solution for connectivity reports, environmental reports, power consumption plus reports of asset management. Management software enables the user to decommission and deploy the devices in an effortless and quick manner. Track the equipment via staging, receiving, decommissioning, commissioning or storage. Along with this, data center management center tracks the changes for data center infrastructure at rack, device and data center levels. The custom properties included in the software can be exercised for mal applications and other information for the devices, giving a clear notion of the impact of failure or shutdown that the device will have. This data center capacity management software is the perfect solution for all the businesses who are seeking for data center consolidation solutions. Data centre manager is perfect for addressing the complete spectrum of the data centers as well as data center management requirements.

Find more information relating to data center manager software, and data center management software here.

Article Source: eArticlesOnline.com

Canadian stock exchange plummets

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Toronto Stock Exchange experienced one of its biggest one-day point losses in the wake of a major (9%) stock sell-off in China. The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 2.7%, falling 364 points eventually ending the day at 13,040. Despite this ‘dramatic’ drop, the main Toronto index is still above where it was eight weeks prior at the end of 2006.

It was the biggest one-day percentage drop since April 2004. At its worst point, the index was down 457 points. Every sector was in negative territory, with resource stocks leading the charge down.

Recently, the TSX set seven record highs in nine trading sessions. Its benchmark index doubled since October 2002 as well as experienced a steady rise in commodity prices. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) witnessed even larger drops; the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a loss of 3.3%, fallling 416 points, making it its worst day in almost four years. At its lowest point of the day it dropped 4.3%, falling 550 points. The Nasdaq composite index dropped similarily 96 points to 2,432 for a 3.8% loss.

In total, 498 of the 500 U.S. companies represented in the S&P 500 index fell including all 30 Dow stocks.

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