Two-millenia-old Chinese guard gets unwanted new recruit

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Legendary Emperor Qin Shi Huang of China had one more terracotta warrior guarding his tomb, recently. Pablo Wendel, an art student from Germany, disguised himself as one of the clay sculptures surrounding Qinshihuang in his final resting place, now a museum.

Police protecting the northern China museum searched for an extended period of time, as Wendel stood silently, among several thousand sculptures. When police found the 26-year-old performance artist, who later told them he was fascinated by the monumental display, they carried him away “as if he were a log.”

China was united by Emperor Qin Shi Huang over 2,200 years ago. The tomb in Xian, once the capital of China, is open to the public as a museum.

Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

NASA’s Cassini–Huygens spacecraft has discovered evidence for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft’s direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon. The study has been published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature.

Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and usually low in salt far away from the moon. Closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt-water. When water freezes, the salt is squeezed out, leaving pure water ice behind.

Cassini’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph also recently obtained complementary results that support the presence of a subsurface ocean. A team of Cassini researchers led by Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, measured gas shooting out of distinct jets originating in the moon’s south polar region at five to eight times the speed of sound, several times faster than previously measured. These observations of distinct jets, from a 2010 flyby, are consistent with results showing a difference in composition of ice grains close to the moon’s surface and those that made it out to the E ring, the outermost ring that gets its material primarily from Enceladean jets. If the plumes emanated from ice, they should have very little salt in them.

“There currently is no plausible way to produce a steady outflow of salt-rich grains from solid ice across all the tiger stripes other than salt water under Enceladus’s icy surface,” said Frank Postberg, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

The data suggests a layer of water between the moon’s rocky core and its icy mantle, possibly as deep as about 50 miles (80 kilometers) beneath the surface. As this water washes against the rocks, it dissolves salt compounds and rises through fractures in the overlying ice to form reserves nearer the surface. If the outermost layer cracks open, the decrease in pressure from these reserves to space causes a plume to shoot out. Roughly 400 pounds (200 kilograms) of water vapor is lost every second in the plumes, with smaller amounts being lost as ice grains. The team calculates the water reserves must have large evaporating surfaces, or they would freeze easily and stop the plumes.

“We imagine that between the ice and the ice core there is an ocean of depth and this is somehow connected to the surface reservoir,” added Postberg.

The Cassini mission discovered Enceladus’ water-vapor and ice jets in 2005. In 2009, scientists working with the cosmic dust analyzer examined some sodium salts found in ice grains of Saturn’s E ring but the link to subsurface salt water was not definitive. The new paper analyzes three Enceladus flybys in 2008 and 2009 with the same instrument, focusing on the composition of freshly ejected plume grains. In 2008, Cassini discovered a high “density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected” in geysers erupting from the moon. The icy particles hit the detector target at speeds between 15,000 and 39,000 MPH (23,000 and 63,000 KPH), vaporizing instantly. Electrical fields inside the cosmic dust analyzer separated the various constituents of the impact cloud.

“Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life,” said Dennis Matson in 2008, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“This finding is a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life can be sustained on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets,” said Nicolas Altobelli, the European Space Agency’s project scientist for Cassini.

“If there is water in such an unexpected place, it leaves possibility for the rest of the universe,” said Postberg.

Regularly Servicing Your Semi Truck

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byphineasgray

Trucks require regular maintenance to guarantee proper function. When it comes to maintaining your vehicle, working with a competent semi truck service provider is key. This is a person who will take everything into account and fully inspect the vehicle to find out whether or not it needs repairing. With this type of regular service, truck drivers can rest assured knowing that their vehicles are performing at their best.

Brakes

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Most modern day trucks have a dual brake system. When getting semi truck service, both systems will be examined to make sure that they are in the best possible condition. It is better to leave this job up to a professional who has the knowledge, skill, and expertise to do the best possible job.

Transmission

Part of performing a thorough semi truck service is inspecting the vehicle’s transmission. The mechanic will check all of the components to make sure that the truck’s transmission is operating at its very best at all times.

Getting regular semi truck service is vital to maintaining on the road safety. If your truck is due for service, don’t delay scheduling the service you need right away. It is vital to regularly service your semi truck by hiring a fully trained and licensed mechanic. In this way you can be assured of receiving the highest quality services available.

By comparing service estimates you can find a company offering semi truck service that fits within your needs and budget.

Truck Parts & Equipment, Inc. can deliver quality semi truck service for an affordable price. Visit the website for more information at Tpetruckparts.com. You can also like their Facebook page for more updates on truck parts & equipment’s.

Wikinews Shorts: August 13, 2009

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A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, August 13, 2009.

Contents

  • 1 Paris suffers second night of violence
  • 2 No concrete progress but North American leaders express solidarity
  • 3 Mexican federal police foil plot to assassinate President Calderón
  • 4 Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to another three years of house arrest
  • 5 Four Rio Tinto employees formally arrested for bribery
  • 6 Michael Jackson to be the star one last time

The French capital Paris has seen a second night of violence by demonstrators, who have blamed police for the death of a motorcyclist on Sunday.

On Sunday night youths in the eastern suburb of Bagnolet, set 29 vehicles alight and threw stones and petrol bombs at police. Monday night was “relatively calm” according to Samira Amrouche, spokeswoman for the regional administration, the authorities having depolyed 40 vans of riot police only 8 vehicles were burnt.

The motorcyclist, a pizza deliveryman, was killed when he fled police attempting to examine his documents, dying when he was struck by a pursuing police vehicle according to the youths,however in the police version his death was a result of him crashing into barriers.

The current violence has echoes of the unrest in 2005, with again dissaffected youths of Arab and black descent venting their anger and frustration.

Sources

The leaders of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) met in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday and Monday. The leaders of the three countries (Barack Obama of the United States, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, and Stephen Harper of Canada) promised to work together on swine flu, organised crime and green issues.

Despite disputes in a number of areas remaining unresolved, the three leaders succeeded in presenting an amiable Three Amigos image. The three leaders expressed solidarity, and an understanding of each others position.

The unresolved issues include the buy American clauses in the US stimulus package, tit for tat reprisals by the Mexican authorities over Canadian visa restrictions on Mexican travellers, and the US ban on Mexican trucks from crossing the border.

Risking the ire of human rights activists back home President Obama expressed support for President Calderón’s war against drugs saying he had “great confidence” in the Mexican authorities.

Sources

Mexican Federal Police (Policía Federal) have foiled an alleged plot to assasinate the President of Mexico Felipe Calderón. Acting on intelligence gathered over a year the Federal Police arrested five drug cartel members on Sunday and publicly paraded their captives and a number of weapons ,including automatic rifles, on Monday. Speaking during a summit of North American leaders Calderón played down the threats on his life, saying that the cartels are being destroyed by his policies.

Some 11000 have died since President Calderón’s took office in 2006 and made the war on drugs a cornerstone of his administration.

Sources

Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced by a court in Burma to a further three years of house arrest for violating the terms of her previous sentence. However her sentence was immediately commuted to 18 months on the orders of Burmese head of state Senior-General Than Shwe out of respect for her father General Aung San and out of a desire for “national reconciliation”.

The period of her arrest will prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the general elections scheduled for 2010. The sentence was immediately condemned by Western leaders, and breaking from their usual silence, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) through its current chair Thailand issued a statement expressing disappointment. The ASEAN statement and talk of further European Union and United States sanctions are unlikely to have any impact on Southeast Asian country given the support of India and China.

The Chinese issued a statement calling for the world to respect Burmese sovereignty and laws, and is seen as an indication that China, a veto power will not support any United Nations actions.

John Yettaw whose unauthorised visit led to Aung San Suu Kyi’s prosecution has himself been sentenced to seven years imprisonment, four of which will be for hard labour.

Sources

Four employees of the Rio Tinto Group have been formally arrested in China on charges of bribery and using improper practises in its negotiations with Chinese companies. The Chinese accuse the men of improperly learning the negotiating position of Chinese companies wishing to buy iron ore, and through this charging 700 billion yuan (US$102.46 billion) more then they would otherwise have been able to

The four were initially held on espionage charges and have been held since early July. The formal charges allows the Chinese authorities to hold the four a further seven months as it prepares its case against them. Their arrests followed the collapse of an attempted by Chinese owned Chinalco to raise its stake in the Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto Group to 18%.

Sources

Michael Jackson will be the star of a film to be released on October 28, some four months after his death. The film will be primarily cut from footage of Jackson rehearsing for the series of concerts that would have taken place at the O2 in London, but will also feature interviews with Jackson’s family and friends.

The film becomes possible after AEG Live, the promoter of the O2 concerts, reached an US$60 million agreement with Columbia Pictures for over 100 hours of footage of Jackson preparing for his swan song.

“He was the architect of ‘This is it‘, and we were his builders…” said Kenny Ortega, Jackson’s collaborator on the project “…it was clear that he was on his way to another theatrical triumph.”

Sources

Australia/2006

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Contents

  • 1 January
  • 2 February
  • 3 March
  • 4 April
  • 5 May
  • 6 June
  • 7 July
  • 8 August
  • 9 September
  • 10 October
  • 11 November
  • 12 December

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Missing nun found dead

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

According to Buffalo, New York Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson, Sister Karen Klimczak, 62, a Catholic nun who went missing on Friday, has been found dead in a shallow grave. Her body was found inside a shed in the backyard of an abandoned house just five miles from her home. Police believe that she was either suffocated or strangled and her body did not show any immediate signs of a gunshot wound or a stab wound. They are waiting awaiting the results of an autopsy.

“We’ve lost a tireless champion of the people,” Buffalo Mayor, Byron W. Brown said on Monday.

Klimczak founded and lived in the Bissonette House in 1989, a halfway house for ex-convicts who are considered to be non-violent. It was named after Rev. A Joseph Bissonette, a priest that was killed in the house in 1987 by an ex-convict that was residing there.

“It is a tremendous tragedy that this repeats itself 19 years later,” added Brown.

Craig Lynch, 37, an ex-convict who has been living in the house since April 5, according to Gipson, was arrested and confessed to the murder while also admitting to being on drugs at the time. According to Gipson, however, Lynch said the murder was “an accident.” Lynch was paroled in January from Wyoming Correctional Facility after time served from a conviction related to auto theft.

Police say he was attempting to steal Klimczak’s cellular phone from her room when she returned home on Friday. Detective Sgt. James P. Lonergan, the lead investigator on this case, says Lynch then attacked Klimczak from behind when she got to the door and then proceeded to dispose of the body.

“He initially hid the body behind a house on George Street and he covered it with some debris. He [then] went to a shed behind a vacant house and dug a shallow grave, then he brought the body there and put it in the grave,” said Lonergan.

The phone, along with some of the victims clothing and various personal belongings, were found in two different trash cans near her home.

Lynch is expected to be charged with larceny and second-degree murder.

Buckingham Palace releases trivia about Queen Elizabeth II

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

As Queen Elizabeth II approaches her 80th birthday, on April 21, Buckingham Palace has released 80 little known facts about her.

Did you know that: The Queen owns all dolphins, porpoises, and sturgeons in British waters. She has sat for 139 official portraits, opened 15 bridges in the UK, launched 23 ships, and speaks fluent French.

The Queen sent a message of congratulations to Apollo 11 astronauts, for the first moon landing on July 21 1969, and it was put in a metal container and placed on the Moon’s surface.

Or that in 1976 at an Army base she sent her first e-mail. Or she has owned more than 30 corgis, starting with Susan who was her 18th birthday present. And in 2002, at 76 years of age, that The Queen was the oldest monarch to celebrate a Golden Jubilee.

India set to install panic buttons on buses to combat sexual assault

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Friday, May 27, 2016

The Indian Government announced on Wednesday they will issue a notification to ensure all buses are fitted with panic buttons to prevent sex-related violence occurring on buses in India. The motion was introduced by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. Installation of the buttons is set to become mandatory on June 2.

Tests are under way on 20 buses running from Rajasthan to New Delhi. Buses are to have panic buttons, a GPS-enabled vehicle tracking device, and CCTV cameras. The new buttons are located at the front doors and when pressed, a police control room has the ability to view live footage recorded inside the bus.

Last month, the government announced that as of 2017, mobile phones can’t be sold in India without a panic button. With the press of a single key, the panic button alerts emergency services that assistance is required.

Since a fatal sexual assault three and a half years ago on a bus in New Delhi, accompanied by increased rates of sexual assault, the government has been pressured to help women avoid the dangers of sexual assault. The bus sexual assault three and a half years ago resulted in India-wide protests, and laws regarding sexual assault were overhauled.

According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2014 New Delhi reported 1,813 rapes, more than any other Indian city. In more than 80% of rapes across India, the victim knew the rapist. In data from 2013, the rapists in 539 cases were parents, in 2,315 cases other relatives.

In 2012 the NCRB said the country had 24,923 reported rapes. However, this number grew over the following year, with 2013 seeing 33,707 reported.

In 2013, NCRB said New Delhi saw 1,636 rapes reported, with an Indian average of 92 women per day. The New Delhi cases alone account for more than four per day.

What You Should Know About Auto Insurance

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byAlma Abell

The Traverse City, MI drivers auto insurance need can get a little complicated when you are shopping around. Here are some important details you should know about to help you better understand your options.

Best Price Never Equals Best Coverage

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With so many commercials bragging about offering the best possible price for your auto insurance it is hard not to be tempted to opt for the lowest possible rates. However as with any product or services the lowest price is usually lower for a reason. Do not get drawn in by your monthly payments without giving serious consideration to the coverage you are receiving. We all need to save money where we can. However car insurance is not a good place to save if it means it will cost you down the road. With this in mind make sure you have the highest deductible in hand with higher liability coverage. Lower monthly rates usually mean you are getting a lower deductible and poor liability coverage. If you are interested in the dollars and cents of it all consider that it will be more affordable to pay $500 to cover damages from an accident compared to the cost of paying for personal injury. Discuss the costs of each option and make sure you are saving as much as you think. You will probably be surprised at how little the difference is especially when you consider the alternative of what you will have to pay out in the case of an accident. Last but not least you have to have insurance that applies to individual injuries. Often insurance offers a lump sum and this is then divided by each person injured in an accident.

The Best Deals

Really the best way to get deals on your auto insurance in Traverse City, MI is to look at what qualifies drivers for lower rates. A clean driving record as well as a good credit rating will help you get better rates. Drive safe and you will reap the benefits on your insurance rates. As well a safe car, a short commute and better security for your car will all keep premiums lower.

Rental Vehicle

One thing many car owners overlook is whether or not they will get a rental vehicle should their car require work following an accident. If you depend on your car to get to and from work make sure you are given a rental vehicle in your policy.

JAI Insurance can provide you with the best auto insurance in Traverse City, MI drivers require.

Former US Representative Dan Rostenkowski dies aged 82

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Former US Representative Dan Rostenkowski died of lung cancer Wednesday at his vacation home in Genoa City, Wisconsin. Rostenkowski, whose political career ended in the early 1990s after he was convicted on fraud charges, was 82.

Rostenkowski’s death was confirmed by his spokesperson, Jim Jaffe, who said that the former congressman had been receiving treatment for lung cancer for a while. Rostenkowski had previously been treated for prostate cancer in the 1990s.

Rostenkowski was born on January 2, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois. He was an athlete and declined an invitation to try out for the Philadelphia Athletics (now the Oakland Athletics) in order to pursue a career in politics. Rostenkowski attended St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Wisconsin, served with the US Army in Korea, and graduated from Loyola University in 1951.

Rostenkowski’s political career was supported by the Cook County political machine, and he became a member of the Illinois state legislature in 1952, one year after graduating from college. In 1958, when he was 30, Rostenkowski was elected to the US House of Representatives. In 1961, he began serving on the United States House Committee on Ways and Means, the chief committee of the House for writing taxes. From 1981–1994, he served as the committee’s chairman. Rostenkowski was involved in the creation of Medicare in 1966 and he helped make amendments to the Social Security system in 1983.

In 1992, a federal jury began an inquiry into the House post office, and Rostenkowski was accused of buying US$22,000 in stamps with government funds and then turning them into cash. The investigation, which lasted two years, led to Republican allegations of corruption within the Democratic party. In 1994, Rostenkowski was charged with 17 felony counts, including the use of federal money to purchase furniture, and obstruction of justice. In order to avoid a trial, Rostenkowski made a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to two counts of mail fraud in exchange for fifteen months in prison, two months in a halfway house, and a US$100,000 fine.

Rostenkowski, who was not reelected for a nineteenth term in Congress in 1994, continued to maintain his innocence, and was pardoned by US President Bill Clinton in 2000.

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