Australian Parliament hears reply to Budget

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Australian Parliament hears reply to Budget

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Australian House of Representatives heard the traditional right-of-reply to the Budget released May 9, from the Australian Labor Party, led by Kim Beazley (Labor, Brand), plus Budget replies from minor parties in the Australian Senate.

While the Budget is politically popular, having as one of its main features significant tax reform, Beazley focused on the omissions in the Budget, such as the failure to address a skills shortage.

Contents

  • 1 Opposition reply
  • 2 Minor parties
    • 2.1 Australian Democrats
  • 3 Australian Greens
  • 4 Family First
  • 5 Sources
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US economy grows at fastest pace in six years

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US economy grows at fastest pace in six years

Friday, January 29, 2010

According to official data, the US economy grew by an annualised rate of 5.7% in the last quarter of last year.

The figure is still an initial estimate, but was higher than the 2.2% annualised growth recorded in the third quarter of the year. Economic analysts polled by the Reuters news agency had predicted a 4.6% rise.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, which releases the economy growth reports, noted that the figures were based on estimates and incomplete data, and might be revised later.

Christina Romer, an economist for the White House, described the growth as being “the most positive news to date on the economy”, saying: “It is important not to read too much into a single report, positive or negative. There will surely be bumps in the road ahead. Nonetheless, today’s report is a welcome piece of encouraging news.”

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer for Harris Private Bank in Chicago, Illinois, remarked that “it’s [the number] very solid and gives us a running start into the second half of the year when we can’t rely on government stimulus. That’s part of the plan, to get us moving as fast as possible so when life support is removed we’ll have a pulse.”

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Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

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Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dell Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will partner up with the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative communications alliance (ICA) team to sell Unified Communications and VoIP products.

The announcement on Tuesday the 16th of October 2007 includes Dell selling VoIP, data and wireless networking products from Nortel and the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and other unified communications products.

The partnership with both manufacturers should allow Dell to provide a pre-integrated solution.

In March 2007, competitors IBM and Cisco announced they would join in the competition for developing unified communications applications and the development of open technologies around the unified communications and collaboration (UC2) client platform an application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by IBM as a subset of Lotus Sametime.

“We want to make it simple for our customers to deploy unified communications so their end users can get access to all their messages in one place – whether its e-mail, phone or mobile device. This will pave the way for more business-ready productivity tools,” said vice president of solutions, Dell Product Group, Rick Becker.

  • Customers have four options:
    • Core Office Communication Server 2007 – provides instant messaging and on-premise Microsoft Live Meeting.
    • Office Communication Server: Telephony – enables call routing tracking and management, VoIP gateway and public branch exchange (PBX) integration.
    • Audio and Video Conferencing – allows point-to-point conference, video conference and VoIP audio conference.
    • Exchange Unified Messaging – provides voicemail, e-mail and fax in Microsoft Outlook, and anywhere access of Microsoft Outlook Inbox and Calendar.

Posted on August 18th, 2019 by sJqm9TRa

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Strong earthquake hits Pakistan, north India, Afghanistan

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Strong earthquake hits Pakistan, north India, Afghanistan

Saturday, October 8, 2005

The strongest earthquake (7.6) that South Asia experienced in the last century caused widespread damage across Pakistan, North India, and Afghanistan this morning. Strongest hit was apparently Kashmir. Tens of thousands of people are feared dead. The epicenter was close to Muzaffarabad, 138 km to the north of Islamabad, and also caused severe damage from both shaking and from landslides to Balakot, Garhi Habibullah and one village in Rawalakot.

Reports on fatalities are conflicting, but even the most conservative estimates put the toll as high as 20,000. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told the BBC he knew of 20,000 people that were killed but added: “I wouldn’t be able to make an accurate assessment for days.” He also asked for international help and specifically requested large cargo helicopters to supply remote areas. The US has come forward to assist by providing eight military helicopters. The communications minister for the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, Tariq Mahmmod, said on Sunday, that “more than 30,000” died in his region alone. Aside from Kashmir most of the deaths occurred in the North-West Province of Pakistan and other northern areas. The estimated death toll has now reached 35,000.

Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, a spokesman for Musharraf, said the scale of the devastation was the biggest Pakistan has ever seen. As emergency workers searched for trapped people and helped the injured, an international relief and recovery effort geared up.

A U.N. disaster relief team was due in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, on Sunday. Britain, Germany, and the United States were among countries offering aid. India, Pakistan’s neighbour and longtime rival, also offered aid (details). A British team from the International Rescue Corps was assisting in the operation at Marghalla Towers on Sunday, equipped with heat-seeking detectors, portable oxygen bags, and advanced slab and metal cutters. According to Pakistan Television this meant that “rescue efforts are picking up pace, and lot of time is being saved.”

The tremors began at 8:50 am (03:50 GMT), and continued for two minutes, followed by several aftershocks over a period of ten minutes. Initial reports said that they were felt in Delhi, Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta, Kabul, Punjab, Jammu, Kashmir, and other areas. A magnitude 6.3 aftershock occurred seven hours later just to the northwest.

The earthquake caused several apartment buildings in Islamabad to collapse, trapping hundreds of people.

250 children were killed in Gari Habi Ullaha between Mansehra and Muzaffarabad when their school collapsed.

The Pakistani Interior Ministry reports that several villages were “wiped out.” Pakistan’s army has been directed to extend all out help to the civil population in the quake-hit areas. All civil and military hospitals have been directed to deal with the situation on an emergency basis. The President and the Prime Minister have appealed to the nation to stay calm in the face of the calamity, and asked the authorities concerned to carry out an immediate assessment of the extent of the damage.

The Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz talked by telephone with authorities in four provinces and Azad Kashmir. He directed them to utilize all machinery, and make all possible efforts to help the victims. He said that the whole federal administration, civil and military authorities had been alerted and relief goods had been provided to them for the victims of the quake.

Most of the roads are closed in the Northern Sector near the earthquake, and some have been completely washed out, so the Pakistani army is flying supplies in by helicopter. Telephone and electricity connections have been cut to towns such as Muzaffarabad, making logistical operations much more complex. The heavy rains have also contributed to the suffering of the many thousands who are now homeless.

Across the line of control in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, officials said Saturday that more than 465 people, at least 34 of them soldiers, were killed in the quake.

Worst hit in India was the town of Uri, close to the border with Pakistan, where four in five of the town’s buildings were leveled, and at least 120 people lost their lives. Officials in India have been criticised for the slow pace and lack of organisation in the relief effort[1].

  • Magnitude: 7.6
  • Region: North India, Pakistan, Afghanistan
  • Time: (UTC) Sat Oct 8 03:50:38 2005 (08:50:38 local time)
  • Epicentre: 80km (50 miles) north-east of Islamabad, Pakistan
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Posted on August 18th, 2019 by sJqm9TRa

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Formula 1 new team USF1 sponsored by YouTube co-founder

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Formula 1 new team USF1 sponsored by YouTube co-founder

Thursday, August 20, 2009

2010 Formula One World Championship entrants USF1 have secured an investment deal with YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, British magazine Autosport have revealed.

Hurley was positive about the future, and hinted at long term involvement with the team.

YouTube was bought out by search engine giants Google in 2006, which has consolidated the video-sharing website as a global phenomenon, valued at $1.65bn. However, its relationship with Formula 1 has not always been rosy. Video rights to Formula 1 are under the strict copyright of Bernie Ecclestone’s FOM concern. Videos of Formula 1 footage posted on the website are soon challenged and removed, however once removed they are soon replaced, due to the sheer number of videos on the site.

USF1 team principle Ken Anderson was positive about the deal, noting that Hurley’s business acumen and experience in setting up a global brand from scratch can be applied to the fledgling team.

Autosport have also revealed that veteran drivers Alexander Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa may be in the running for a seat alongside “an American rookie”. Austrian Wurz has not competed in Formula 1 since 2007 (For Williams in China), and de la Rosa has not raced competitively in F1 since 2006, when he replaced Juan Pablo Montoya at McLaren mid-way through the season.

The other two new entrants for next year, Campos Grand Prix and Manor Motorsport are yet to announce any investment or sponsorship agreements.

Hurley’s involvement is unlikely to see the YouTube logo added to the car as this is a personal involvement independent of his current position with YouTube.

Posted on August 11th, 2019 by sJqm9TRa

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SAHTECH, SEMI, and Semiconductor Industry to promote “SEMI Safety Guideline” in Taiwan

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SAHTECH, SEMI, and Semiconductor Industry to promote “SEMI Safety Guideline” in Taiwan

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

“Localization of ‘SEMI Safety Guideline'”, executed by Safety and Health Technology Center of Taiwan (SAHTECH) and supervised by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), was announced today in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

This localization included several fields on health and safety of semiconductor manufacturing, certification testing on electrical devices, evaluations on fire or natural diseases, and environmental issues on semiconductor manufacturing devices, etc.. Companies and manufacturers from the semiconductor industry also paid more attentions on this guideline because issues on carbon-savings, earthquakes, fire diseases, and environment-efficiencies were included into this guideline.

This [safety] guideline was originally promoted by SEMI since 1975 and was set up according to industry infrastructures in Europe, America, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Currently, its standards from the S1 to S25 was completely ruled by several world-class executives in semiconductor industry, and the S26 standard for FPD industry, proposed in Taiwan, was also in several arrangements with the other countries.
The semiconductor industry is a high-value industry in every country. If a fabrication plant (fab) was vandalized with fire or earthquake, how will a company decrease its lossless after a disease? As of some examples from the other countries, several companies didn’t pay more attentions on devices’ safety and finally got a damn trouble on counting lossless after a disease. By the way, voltages on electric using will take effect on energy especially the wasting of CO2. We [the semiconductor industry in Taiwan] hope this announcement will drive on global safety standards.
Generally, the designs of a fab will take effect on possibilities when a disease take place in, and its scale will chain much wasting on manufacturing devices and materials. For example, when using fluorine in a fab, a company would consider using a gas tank car rather than a steel bottle. But due to environment and carbon-saving issues, some evaluations should be tested in a fab.

On the other side of the incoming trade show of 2008 SecuTech Expo, scheduled after 2 weeks at Taipei World Trade Center, not only main fields on security devices, information security, and fire & disease preventions, the digital monitoring will be a hot topic in security industry. For applications on fire & disease preventions, because its issues contained industrial applications and ESH (Environmental, Safety & Health) managements, if a company want to decrease the ratio of fire disease or earthquake, companies from safety and related industries should pay more attentions on disease preventions.

Posted on August 11th, 2019 by sJqm9TRa

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Wikipedia founder embroiled in affair and financial allegations

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Wikipedia founder embroiled in affair and financial allegations

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

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

The implosion of a relationship between Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and journalist Rachel Marsden has resulted in controversy and international headlines. Associated Press and ABC News have also reported on questionable activity by Wales involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. The Wikimedia Foundation is a donor-supported non-profit organization which runs Wikipedia.

Marsden had contacted Wales two years ago about concerns she had over the article about her on Wikipedia, and Wales determined the article was not compliant with Wikipedia’s standards. The tech blog Valleywag revealed Wales had a personal relationship with Marsden, and posted supposed transcripts of their instant message conversations on its site, www.valleywag.com. Wales and Marsden met in February, and The Times reported that “An apparent transcript of their conversations before that meeting suggests that, although Mr Wales had withdrawn from the editing process, he was still influencing the editors.” The Times quoted Wales from the chat logs as having stated to Marsden “The truth is of course a much worse conflict of interest than that; but that will do.” — in reference to his conflict of interest regarding Marsden’s article on Wikipedia.

Wales posted a public statement on Saturday on Wikipedia addressing the matter, and stated that his relationship with Marsden was over: “First, while I find it hard to imagine that anyone really cares about my sex life, the facts are: I am separated from my wife. I considered myself single at the time of my one meeting with Rachel Marsden on Feb. 9, 2008 … I am no longer involved with Rachel Marsden. Gossipy stories suggesting that I have been in a relationship with her ‘since last fall’ are completely false … I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.” With regard to the conflict of interest in Marsden’s article, Wales had acknowledged to a team of Wikipedia editors in February 2008 that he and Marsden “became friends … and that we would be meeting about that,” and stated “I recused myself from any further official action with respect to her biography.”

On Sunday, The Canadian Press reported that Marsden had posted photos of herself on Ebay, and was selling items that Wales had left at her New York City apartment. In her Ebay posting, Marsden stated: “Hi, my name is Rachel and my (now ex-) boyfriend, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, just broke up with me via an announcement on Wikipedia … It was such a classy move that I was inspired to do something equally classy myself, so I’m selling a couple of items of clothing he left behind, here in my NYC apartment, on eBay. Jimbo was supposed to come visit me in a couple of weeks and pick up some of his stuff, but obviously that won’t be happening now.” Marsden told The Canadian Press “It didn’t really help matters that Jimmy chose to announce the breakup to the entire world via Wikipedia (which apparently now is an online encyclopedia that doubles as a personal soapbox?) rather than to me directly (which he did much later, in an instant message discussion).”

I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.

Marsden placed a t-shirt and sweater which she said were left at her apartment by Wales up on Ebay, and started the bidding for each at ninety-nine cents, with the auctions set to end on March 12. By Monday, bidding on the t-shirt had reached US$300, and by Tuesday the highest bid had reached $12,200. In an email to The Globe and Mail, Marsden stated “My only focus right now, to be really honest, is on my career and finding a way to get back into print, TV, or radio here in NYC,” she wrote. “All of this other personal stuff is just an unfortunate distraction.”

Jay Walsh, the Wikimedia Foundation’s head of communications, told the San Jose Mercury News that Wales’ actions in relaying Marsden’s concerns about her Wikipedia article to a team of trusted editors was within his “routine” role. When asked by the San Jose Mercury News if Wales’ actions regarding the Marsden article could compromise his role with the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia, Walsh responded “No, absolutely not.”

On Tuesday, ABC News carried a story by Wired News reporter Megan McCarthy regarding allegations of “excessive spending” by Wales, and Associated Press also reported on questions involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. McCarthy reported that former Wikimedia executive Danny Wool, who had left the foundation last year, criticized Wales’ use of Wikimedia Foundation expenses in a blog post. Wool stated that Wales had tried to expense $300 bottles of wine, a $1,300 dinner for four at a Florida steakhouse, and visits to Moscow massage parlors to the foundation, and that the foundation rescinded Wales’ corporate credit card in 2006. Wool also stated that Wales paid the foundation $7,000, after being short $30,000 on receipts for expenses.

Wool told EPICENTER that “There were occasions where he used [the Wikimedia Foundation] for personal advancement under the guide [sic] of the mission. And, as someone who was in there for the mission part of it, I found that rather distressful.” Wool commented in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle: “Originally, it was carelessness … But as things developed, it became more apparent and obvious that he was taking advantage of the foundation credit card. It was almost like his personal piggy bank.”

Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own.

In an instant message exchange with Associated Press, Wales denied that the Wikimedia Foundation had taken away his corporate credit card, and asserted that he had made the decision to stop expensing business travel for the foundation. Wales highlighted a statement by the foundation’s executive director Sue Gardner: “Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own.” In an email to Associated Press, Brad Patrick, a former attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, stated “Danny seems interested in blogging his way straight to a lawsuit”.

Florence Devouard, who chairs the Wikimedia Foundation, told Associated Press that Wales had been “slow in submitting receipts,” and that the foundation had rejected Wales’ expense at the Florida steakhouse. Devouard told fellow foundation board members in a private email that she had convinced Associated Press that “the money story was a no story,” and told Wales “I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past. Get a grip!” Wales told Associated Press: “The board, the current executive director, the previous executive director, and independent auditors have reviewed our books and publicly agree that all of my expenses were appropriate and fully accounted for.”

Media reports speculated on how the controversy would end up being represented in Wikipedia itself. On Wednesday, the St. Petersburg Times wrote: “Wales’ Wikipedia page said only this about Marsden: ‘Wales had a brief relationship with Canadian journalist Rachel Marsden.'” An article in The Australian surmised: “History will decide whether Mr Wales broke his own principles, but before that happens there may well be a Wikipedia page devoted to the controversy.”

Posted on August 11th, 2019 by sJqm9TRa

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Liberal candidate Kate Holloway, Trinity-Spadina

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Liberal candidate Kate Holloway, Trinity-Spadina

Monday, October 1, 2007

Kate Holloway is running for the Ontario Liberal Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Trinity-Spadina riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Posted on August 11th, 2019 by sJqm9TRa

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News briefs:July 14, 2010

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News briefs:July 14, 2010
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Posted on August 5th, 2019 by sJqm9TRa

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Swiss reject single health insurance

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Swiss reject single health insurance

Monday, March 12, 2007

24 of 26 Swiss Cantons rejected the proposal for a single health insurance system, in which premiums would be based on income and wealth. The vote on Sunday was the latest in a series of attempts to cut rising costs and ease the financial burden on citizens.

Around 71% of voters rejected the reform. Turnout was at about 46%, slightly above the Swiss average.

As expected, voters in the main German-speaking part of the country turned down the planned reform, which was supported by the centre-left but opposed by the centre-right as well as the business community, parliament and the government.

Opposition in the French and Italian speaking regions was less pronounced. The cantons Jura and Neuchâtel in the French speaking regions voted in favor of the proposed reforms.

Health insurance premiums are higher in southern and western Swiss cantons than in German-speaking areas.

The Swiss Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin said an important part of the Swiss Population appeared to be opposed to “a revolution” in health insurance but he said that he wanted current reforms currently under discussion in the Swiss Parliament to go ahead. He called on all sides, especially health insurers and the cantonal authorities, to make efforts to reduce spending on health insurance and aim for a greater cost efficiency. Currently Switzerland has 87 private insurers providing mandatory basic health care coverage for Swiss residents under a 1996 law. But costs have sky-rocketed. Over 100,000 people are not covered by health insurance due to non payment.

To win the battle of the cost of health care, everyone must place his or her private interests behind the interests of the general public. -Pascal Couchepin at a news conference

Opponents to the initiative argued that a single insurance system would lead to complacency and create a two-tier system, in which the wealthy would be the only ones available to afford to have additional private insurance coverage.

Supporters of the initiative said a single health insurer would increase the system’s efficiency and allow for annual savings of at least 300 million Swiss Francs (about $245 million) in administrative costs. Currently, the funding system is unbalanced, since many clients on low incomes use state subsidies to pay their premiums, according to the Green Party and the Social Democrats.

The initiative to unite all the insurance companies and introduce premiums based on wealth and income was the most recent in a series of attempts over the past ten years to reduce the public spending on health care. A proposal, similar to this recent proposal, to modify the funding system of the health insurance companies was rejected by 73% of voters in 2003.

Switzerland has the most expensive health system in Europe. Switzerland’s expenditure on health care was 11.6% in 2005, in front of Germany and France but behind the United States.

Learn more about Swiss Federal Council and Voting in Switzerland on Wikipedia.

Posted on August 4th, 2019 by sJqm9TRa

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