Athletes prepare for 2012 Summer Paralympics at the Paralympic Fitness Centre

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Monday, August 27, 2012

London, England — As Paralympians ready for the Games which are set to open later this week, they have access to a world class fitness center inside the Paralympic Village which is designed to maximise their pre-Game preparations.

According to volunteers staffing the center, instead of being a single large room, as in Beijing, the building has numerous rooms. It, along with the adjacent Village Services Centre, is designed to be converted into a school after the games conclude. Rooms have been structured as a gym, an auditorium, and science laboratories.

Gym equipment is supplied by Technogym, an Italian firm that has supplied gym equipment for the Olympics since 2000. Equipment has been provided not just for for the Fitness Centre, but for gyms at all the Olympic venues. The newest equipment is oriented toward maximum flexibility, allowing athletes to exercise the particular muscles that they most require for their sport.

In addition to the equipment, the Fitness Centre also provides instructors trained in the use of the equipment, the likes of which athletes from many countries have never seen before. There are also a number of instructors available to provide motivational training.

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Refurbished cafeteria opens in Romanian parliament

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Wednesday, May 4, 2005

A new, refurbished cafeteria at the Romanian Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest has opened for the use of parliamentarians. The new cafeteria, which has mahogany furniture and leather draped armchairs, was officially opened yesterday, and is situated at the entrance to the Senate headquarters in the Palace of the Parliament.

Members of Parliament said they were not satisfied with the former cafeteria in the Palace, saying that it didn’t have proper tables and chairs to sit on. Many parliamentarians expressed their satisfaction at the opening of the refurbished dining venue, saying that they can now drink a cup of coffee “in a civilised manner” before sessions.

Bucharest’s Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului in Romanian) is the largest building in Europe and the third largest building in the world, with an area of approximately 350,000 m². It contains both houses of the Romanian Parliament (the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate), as well as the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC). It is also frequently used as a function centre.

2006 “Stolenwealth” Games to confront Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

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Friday, March 3, 2006

The possibility of large-scale protests in the face of the 3,000 journalists covering the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, has event organisers and the Government worried.

The group “Black GST” – which represents Indigenous Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty – are planning demonstrations at prominent Games events unless the Government agrees to a range of demands including an end to Aboriginal genocide, Aboriginal Sovereignty and the signing of a treaty.

The Black GST say they hope the focus of the world’s media will draw attention to the plight of indigenous Australians during the Games. Organisers say supporters are converging from across Australia and from overseas. Organisers say up to 20,000 people may take part in talks, rallies, colourful protests and many cultural festivities designed to pressure the Federal Government on Indigeneous rights issues. They want the Government to provide a temporary campsite for the supporters, saying “organised chaos was better than disorganised chaos.”

The 2006 Stolenwealth Games convergence, described by organisers as the “cultural festival of the 2006 Commonwealth Games,” was virtually opened on March 2nd with the launch of the official “Stolenwealth Games” website. Scoop Independent News and Perth Indymedia reported that the launch was held at Federation Square in Melbourne. The site contents were projected via wireless laptop by the Stolenwealth Games General Manager, and a tour of the website was given on the big screen. He said “overwhelming amusement was the response from the audience.” The group say permanent access points to the website are being set up at public internet facilities across Victoria during the coming weeks.

“Interest in the Stolenwealth Games is building all over the world and this fresh, exciting and contemporary site will draw in people from Stolenwealth Nations around the globe to find out about the latest news and events,” said a Stolenwealth Games spokesperson. “We have been getting many requests from around the world wanting to know about the Stolenwealth Games. We have provided many ways that individuals and organisations can support the campaign by spreading the word.”

The Victorian Traditional Owner Land Justice Group (VTOLJG) which represents the first nation groups of Victoria, has announced its support to boycott the 2006 Commonwealth Games until the Government “recognises Traditional Owner rights.” The group asserts that culture has been misappropriated in preparation for the Games.

Organisers of the campaign say they welcome the formal support from the Traditional Owners. “While some seek to divide and discredit Indigenous Australia, this support is further evidence that the Aboriginal people are united in opposition to the ongoing criminal genocide that is being perpetrated against the Aboriginal people” said Black GST supporter and Aboriginal Elder, Robbie Thorpe.

“We now have endorsement from the VTOLJG and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy for the aims and objectives of the Campaign and we are looking forward to hosting all indigenous and non-indigenous supporters from across Australia in March,” he said. The Black GST group have said “the convergence will be held as a peaceful, family-focussed demonstration against genocide, and for the restoration of sovereignty and the negotiations towards a Treaty.”

But the campaign has received flak in mainstream media, such as Melbourne’s Herald Sun, who wrote: “the proposal to allow BlackGST to set up an Aboriginal tent embassy at a site well away from the Commonwealth Games will be interpreted by some as the State Government caving in to a radical protest group. A major concern for the Government… is to protect the event from disruption… no chances should be taken…”

The Black GST has been planning the convergence for months, calling for Aboriginal people and their supporters to converge on Melbourne. The Melbourne-based Indigenous rights group have called on thousands of people concerned about the plight of indigenous Australians to converge on Melbourne during the Games, which they have dubbed “the Stolenwealth Games”. But the choice of Kings Domain has made conflict almost inevitable, as the area is one of the areas gazetted by the State Government as a “Games management zone”.

Under the Commonwealth Games Arrangements Act, any area gazetted as a management zone is subject to a range of specific laws – including bans on protesting, creating a disturbance and other activities. The protest bans will be in effect at different times and places, and offenders can be arrested. A spokeswoman for the Black GST, which advocates peaceful protest, said the site had been chosen because it was close to where the Queen will stay on March 15. “We figured that she is only in Melbourne for 27 hours or something like that so we thought we would make it easy for her to come next door and see us,” she said. “We are a very open, welcoming group, so she will be welcome to come and join us.”

Kings Domain is the burial site for 38 indigenous forefathers of Victoria. Black GST elder, Targan, said trade union groups have offered to install infrastructure at the site. The group initially worked with the State Government to find a suitable camp site, but the relationship broke down when the Government failed to meet a deadline imposed by the protesters. “While we are disappointed the ministers were not able to meet deadline on our request, we thank them for their constructive approach towards negotiations and the open-door policy exercised,” said Targan.

A spokesman for Games Minister Justin Madden said the Government was still investigating other sites. Victoria Police Games security commander Brendan Bannan said he was not convinced the Black GST represented the views of most indigenous people. “We are dealing with the Aboriginal community and they don’t seem to support it at all … the wider Aboriginal community don’t support disruption to the Games at all,” he said.

The Government was told that Black GST supporters would camp in Fitzroy Gardens and other city parks should it fail to nominate a site. A spokesman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavan Jennings said the Government was taking the issue seriously, but had not been able to finalise a campsite before the deadline.

Under special Games laws, people protesting or causing a disturbance in “Games management zones” can be arrested and fined. While prominent public spaces such as Federation Square, Birrarung Marr, Albert Park and the Alexandra Gardens fall under the legislation, such tough anti-protest laws cannot be enforced in the nearby Fitzroy Gardens.

Games chairman Ron Walker has urged the group to choose another date for its protest march through the city, which is currently planned to coincide with the opening ceremony on March 15. The group believes that an opportunity to gain attention for indigenous issues was lost at the Sydney Olympics and has vowed to make a highly visible presence at the Games.

The Black GST said the Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s sacred flame, burning over many years at the Canberra site will be carried to Melbourne before the Games, and its arrival would mark the opening of the protest camp from where a march will proceed to the MCG before the Opening Ceremony.

Black GST claims supporters from all over Australia, including three busloads from the West Australian Land Council, will gather in Melbourne during the Games for peaceful protests.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavin Jennings had offered Victoria Park to the protesters. Victoria Park, former home of Collingwood Football Club, where one of the strongest statements of Aboriginal pride, when St Kilda star Nicky Winmar in 1993 raised his jumper and pointed to his bare chest after racial taunts from the Collingwood crowd.

Black GST, which has labelled the Games the Stolenwealth Games, said the State Government had failed to find a suitable venue. Black GST may encourage protesters to camp in prominent parks such as Fitzroy Gardens and Treasury Gardens. Graffiti supporting the action has also appeared in central Melbourne.

Melbourne City councillor Fraser Brindley has offered his home to the Black GST organisers. “I offered my home up to people who are organising visitors to come to the Games,” he said. Cr Brindley will be overseas when the Commonwealth Games are held and has offered the free accommodation at his flat at Parkville. He said he agreed with the protesters’ view that treaties needed to be signed with indigenous Australians. “I’m offering it up to the indigenous people who are coming to remind Her Majesty that her Empire took this land from them,” said Cr Brindlley. Nationals leader Peter Ryan said: “This extremist group has no part in the Australian community.” Melbourne councillor Peter Clarke said the actions were embarrassing and that he would try to discourage him. “It’s not in the spirit of the Games,” he said.

Aboriginal elder, Targan, said the possibility of securing Victoria Park was delightfully ironic. “There’s a lot of irony going on,” Targan, 53, a PhD student at Melbourne University, said. “GST stands for Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty. We want the genocide of our people to stop; we want some sovereignty over traditional land, certainly how it is used, and we want a treaty with the government,” Targan said.

Atlas rocket launches ICO G1 satellite

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Monday, April 14, 2008

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V carrier rocket launched this evening from LC-41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA, with the ICO G1 communications satellite for ICO Satellite Management. Lift-off occurred at 20:12:00 UTC. It is the first commercial launch of an Atlas rocket since responsibility for the launches was transferred from International Launch Services to United Launch Alliance, through Lockheed Martin. Launch was completely successful, with the spacecraft separating from its carrier rocket about half an hour after launch.

The Atlas V flew in the 421 configuration, with a 4 metre wide payload fairing, twin solid rocket boosters, and a single-engined Centaur upper stage. It was the 14th flight of the Atlas V, and successfully placed the satellite into a geosynchronous orbit. The launch was dedicated to former Atlas programme employee Lynn Deckard.

ICO G1 will provide S band mobile communications for satellite phones. Its launch had been delayed from May last year, owing to delays with US government missions which were launching on Atlas, and then in light of the failure of a previous Atlas launch in June. It was constructed by Space Systems/Loral, and is based on the LS-1300 satellite bus. It is the heaviest satellite to be launched by an Atlas rocket, and the heaviest single commercial satellite to be launched into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Speaking after the launch, Jim Sponnik, the Vice President of the Atlas programme told the team who had conducted the launch that they “all did extremely well and the rocket did exceptionally well”. Colonel Scott Henderson, of the 45th Space Wing, United States Air Force, said that the launch was “a great success”, and the result of “phenomenal effort” on the part of those involved. David Malcom, the President of Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems described the launch as a “hole in one”. Tim Bryan, the CEO of ICO Satellite Management told the United Launch Alliance team that he “can’t express…what every person in this room has done for our business”. He also thanked Bob Day, and ICO’s space team, for their work in the build up to the launch. Michael Gass, the CEO of United Launch Alliance said that the successful launch was a “testimony to this entire team”, and told flight controllers “congratulations, you’re the best”.

The satellite’s signal was acquired by ground tracking stations in Australia at 21:17, and the launch was confirmed to be accurate to within one nautical mile of the targeted orbit. The next Atlas launch is scheduled to occur in early July, with a DMSP weather satellite, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

NZ law exempts working farm dogs from embedded ID tag rule

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Zealand farmers have won a key victory in Parliament, with MPs voting to exempt Working farm dogs from microchipping legislation, passing 61:60.

The Federated Farmers debated the law for a long time, saying that the cost of microchipping all their dogs will be a huge cost and an inconvenience. Under previous legislation, all newly registered dogs were to have identification microchips embedded by July 1. The microchips in dogs are for owner identification, in case of attacks on humans. This law was introduced when Carolina Anderson, 7-year-old, was attacked in 2003.

Parliament has been debating several proposed amendments to the Local Government Law Reform bill, which aimed to change the microchipping requirement.

Blogger David Farrar says “It is very messy for the Government to lose the vote after piling so much pressure on.” In the end only Labour, Progressive plus New Zealand First voted for it.

The Green party split votes (rare for a party). Four Greens MPs voted for the farm dog exemption and two against.

The four Green MPs were – Sue Bradford, Keith Locke, Sue Kedgley and Nandor Tanczos. The Greens had previously proposed that only dangerous dogs should be microchipped.

In favour of exempting farm dogs:

Total: 61

Against:

Total: 60

Maria Contreras-Sweet Group buys The Weinstein Company assets, saves it from bankruptcy

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

On Thursday in a meeting at New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, Maria Contreras-Sweet Group, billionaire Ron Burkle, and a number of other investors acquired assets of The Weinstein Company for reportedly about US$500 million. The Weinstein Company had financial difficulties and was nearly bankrupt after Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women last year, which impacted the business budget.

At least two of The Weinstein Company board of directors — consisting of Tarak Ben Ammar, Lance Maerov and Bob Weinstein — participated in the meeting, according to The New York Times. Maria Contreras-Sweet Group was represented by Maria Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle. The New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman was also in the meeting.

Maria Contreras-Sweet Group agreed to pay The Weinstein Company’s debt, sized at US$225 million, reports indicated. The acquisition would save around 150 jobs held at the Weinstein Company. Maria Contreras-Sweet Group announced the deal, also confirmed by The Weinstein Company. The deal was expected to take about 40 days to be completed.

The agreement required Maria Contreras-Sweet Group to protect the jobs of company employees, and establish a victim compensation fund which would compensate victims of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct while not rewarding the “bad actors”, as Schneiderman put it — people who had contributed to the sexual misconduct. The victim compensation fund would allegedly be around US$90 million, according to reports.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company in early February of this year. He reportly indicated he might settle the lawsuit after the deal is finalized.

Maria Contreras-Sweet Group said they would use the assets in creating a new movie studio with a majority-female leadership.

The Weinstein Company said on Monday, three days before the deal announcement, it intended to file for bankruptcy as it could not find a buyer that would keep it afloat until the deal would be finalized.

The Weinstein Company was founded in 2005.

International Board fixes soccer field size, halts technology experiments

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body that decides on the laws of the game, has decided to discontinue all experiments involving technology, and for the first time has also decided on the exact size of a soccer field.

Instead of pursuing the idea of using cameras or microchips in the ball to see if it has crossed the goal-line, the International Board wants to see if the introduction of two extra assistant referees can improve the quality of referee’s decisions.

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke declared: “We have decided to freeze for the time being the goal-line technology and all technology experiments. We will look on these two additional referees and we avoid considering any goal-line technology during this time.”

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the move was necessary to maintain the universal spirit of the game: “We have 260 million people directly involved in the game. If we maintain the laws of the game … it’s so easy to understand … We have to live with errors, football has to keep its human face.”

“We have to maintain the laws of the game in their simplicity. Do you want technical devices to take decisions? That’s why, after three years of tests with no conclusions, I am in favour of putting the whole thing on ice,” Blatter explained.

Either you help them with additional pairs of eyes or with technology and I’m against technology. Once you start, who knows where you might stop. The 18-yard line, the offside trap? All I’m saying is let’s try my idea.

UEFA president Michel Platini agreed: “Football should stay human, but two more officials can help, especially around the goal.” Platini made the suggestion to freeze all investigations into technology and to try two additional assistants behind each goal.

Blatter said the system using the microchip “was very complicated, needing electrified lines on the field of play and other devices including antennae and when we tested it in Tokyo last year there was one mistake during the seven matches we used as an experiment at the Club World Championship.” With regards to the system using cameras, he pointed to “problems with players obscuring the views of the cameras, or of flares or weather conditions.”

The system of the extra referees will be tested at an upcoming FIFA or UEFA tournament, and a final ruling is expected at next year’s meeting, according to FIFA’s Jerome Valcke.

Hawk-Eye, the company that was working on the goal-line technology that is already being used for line calls in tennis, reacted with disappointment: “I’m livid, it is completely out of the blue… A year ago they met and gave us four criteria to meet and we have met all of them, yet they have kicked it out now… We have invested an awful lot of money and now we have no return on that investment,” director Paul Hawkins said. He said he was encouraged to continue research on the project only 10 days ago at a private showing for IFAB members at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.

The FA has always been in the vanguard of helping referees make the right decisions. The two experiments that were being undertaken went a long way to making it work. One was very close to being successful and the other two-thirds of the way. We are disappointed they have now been shelved. It’s hard enough to recruit referees already.

While the Welsh FA were also against the idea, the English Football Association supported the use of technology and was hoping to start using it by next season. The FA clubs and referees supported the use of Hawk-Eye technology, said Mike Foster, general secretary of the English Premier League. A spokesperson of the Premier League said that “A lot of time, money and effort has gone into developing a system that meets all the criteria laid down last year.” The Scottish and Northern Irish FA also voted in favour of the goal-line technology.

FA chief executive Brian Barwick expressed his disappointment at the annual meeting of the IFAB in Gleneagles, Scotland: “We were in favour of goal-line technology but there will be no more experiments and it will not be back on the agenda next year, or in the foreseeable future.”

FIFA President Blatter denied ulterior motives for the decision: “There has been no change of heart. Referees make decisions, not machines… I have defended goal-line technology but it has become clear that such systems are too complicated and very costly. Nor would they necessarily add anything positive to the game and could harm the authority of the referee.”

Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

Scientists to bring all species together in Encyclopedia of Life

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Today, some of the leading biologists in the world announced that they are starting a new project to write the Encyclopedia of Life, a project that aims to bring resources on all 1.8 million species together.

The website will take the form of a wiki-like environment, but in contrast to Wikimedia’s project Wikispecies, only scientists will be allowed to edit. The information will be made freely available on the internet. “Sharing what we know, we can protect Earth’s biodiversity and better conserve our natural heritage,” said said Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which has donated US$10 million to the project. Another US$2.5 million grant came from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

According to their press release, the website aims to become “a global beacon for biodiversity and conservation.” The trailer video mentions that the work of classifying all species has barely begun, and that species are disappearing even before we glimpse at them.

The founding partners of the project include the Field Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The Missouri Botanical Garden later joined, and negotiations are ongoing with the Atlas of Living Australia. Other partners are the American Museum of Natural History (New York), Natural History Museum (London), New York Botanical Garden, and the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew).

The institutional council is made up of a selection of international advisors, such as a representative of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Another member is Erik Möller of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.

According to the press release, the species pages will become available in “all major languages”. Initially the focus will be on animals, plants and fungi, but later this could be expanded to microbes. The goal is to document all 1.8 million species over the next 10 years, but the founders warn that it might take up to 4 years before the quality of the pages becomes acceptable. Today, Wikispecies has over 98,000 articles.

The website will partially draw information from existing databases, for example from FishBase which has 29,900 species listed already. Wikipedia is also listed as a source on some of the demonstration pages. Using an indicator for the educational level of the user, novices and experts will be shown just the information that suits them. A system of filters could be used to allow identification of species: for example, if you’ve just caught a 6-inch-long fish with big teeth in the Amazon River, you could use the filter system to find out what species it might be.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library will scan tens of millions of pages to provide open access to the relevant scientific literature which it holds. The first 1.25 million pages have already been digitized in scanning centers in London, Boston, and Washington, D.C. .

Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/OH-WY

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

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

Contents

  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Ohio
  • 3 Oklahoma
  • 4 Oregon
  • 5 Pennsylvania
  • 6 Rhode Island
  • 7 South Carolina
  • 8 South Dakota
  • 9 Tennessee
  • 10 Texas
  • 11 Utah
  • 12 Vermont
  • 13 Virginia
  • 14 Washington
  • 15 West Virginia
  • 16 Wisconsin
  • 17 Wyoming

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