Thousands of Australian workers set to rally against IR reform

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Police and union leaders across the country expect big crowds during today’s National Community Day of protest against the Federal Government’s WorkChoices proposed changes to industrial relations laws.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) predicts hundreds of thousands of people will demonstrate in Sydney and Melbourne. Protest meetings in other capital cities are expected to attract workers in their tens of thousands. The rallies will take place in 300 regional sites across Australia.

Labor’s opposition spokesman on industrial relations, Stephen Smith says, “The more people become aware of the nature of the changes and the detail of the changes, the more they realise how vulnerable they are and the more they want to do something to prevent the changes.”

Mark Bethwaite, from Australian Business Ltd, believes most people will go to work as usual. “Because frankly they are not convinced by the scare campaign the ACTU has been running,” Mr Bethwaite said.

The Federal Government has been accused of instructing agencies to refuse staff leave to attend the rallies against its IR changes and says it will not be affected by a rally of one person or a 100,000.

The Federal Department of Workplace Relations has issued advice to other departments that employees wanting to attend the National Community Day of Protest should be denied leave.

State and territory leaders intend to mount a High Court challenge to the Federal Government’s proposed industrial relations changes.

The ACTU say, “the IR changes are not just an attack on workers – they fundamentally undermine the values that make Australia great. Beneath all the glossy advertising are proposals that will unfairly curtail your rights at work, cut the amount of time you can spend with family, and erode your job security.”

The federal government have spent over fifty million dollars on promoting the radical new changes.

Unions say the changes will make it easier for workers to be sacked; cut take-home pay and reduce minimum standards; change the way minimum wages are set to make them lower; replace the award safety net with just five minimum conditions; restrict access to unions; make it harder for employees to bargain as a group; and reduce the powers of the independent Industrial Relations Commission.”

In Melbourne, Australian Education Union’s Mary Bluett said the IR legislation “is not the legacy we want to leave our children.” About 12,000 public servants, 10,000 building workers and hundreds of nurses are also expected to join the protest, but workers operating road, train, tram and bus services will remain on duty to allow commuters to travel free to the rally.

Sky News estimated the number attending the rally in Melbourne as 175,000.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry labelled the rally “a tired union stunt”.

Two killed, 47 injured in coach crash in Cornwall, England

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Two people have been killed and 47 people have been injured as the result of a coach crash in Cornwall, England. The vehicle, which was carrying 48 passengers as well as the driver, were travelling back from a journey to the village of Mousehole to see Christmas lights. The accident occurred at 2215 GMT yesterday in the village of Townshend, not far from the town of Hayle. Road conditions at the time were icy, which may explain why the accident occurred. The first police car that arrived at the scene lost control on the icy road and crashed into the already overturned coach. The two officers in the car were uninjured, however the earlier crash had caused the deaths of two women. One of them died at the scene of the accident and the other was later killed as a result of the injuries suffered. 47 people were injured, five of them seriously.

The sequence of events that is believed to have happened, according to Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, is that the coach went off the road, collided with a tree, going through a hedge before finally overturning, causing the vehicle to end up on its side. 60-year-old Ann Ellis, who comes from the village of Illogan in Cornwall, was physically involved in the crash. Desribing her experience of this incident, she said: “All I can remember is a big bang and we just went over. I got trapped under somebody else and there was someone on top of me. It was difficult to breathe but two gentlemen dragged me out. I was shaken, really shaken. I think we all were. It was horrific.”

I was shaken, really shaken. I think we all were. It was horrific.

Derek Smith, lives near where the accident occurred. He said that “[w]e were just going to bed when we heard a knock on the kitchen door. She was covered in mud and had no shoes or socks on and was shaking as she stood there. I could hear this commotion going on.

She said to ring the police and ambulance as their coach had turned over and there were 50 people in it and some of them were injured. My wife rang 999 and the lady was in a real panic. We gave her some socks and boots straightaway because she was freezing as she had nothing on her feet.”

75-year-old Charles Parker, who is living in St. Agnes in the county, was also injured in the accident, suffering injuries to his leg and his head. “The roads were so icy,” he explained. “I heard a cracking noise and all of a sudden we had turned over. I remember later being helped out of the coach through a window. We were close to a house and they took most of the people in there. Then helicopters turned up. It was very frightening.”

Inspector Matthew Shaw, who comes from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, explained “[i]t seems from initial investigations that the coach has slipped on ice. The road is covered in a sheet of ice, it’s treacherous, it’s difficult to even walk down there.” The amount of time taken to transport the injured passengers to a hospital was four hours.

News briefs:July 14, 2010

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Building collapses in Manhattan

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Monday, July 10, 2006

New York City —A four-story building on 62nd Street in Manhattan collapsed after an explosion Monday. Both the White House and New York Fire Department have said the explosion was not caused by a terrorist attack. The New York Fire Department said that the owner of the building, Dr. Nicholas Bartha, might have deliberately caused the explosion in a suicide attempt after a difficult divorce.

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According to the latest reports, five people were injured by the blast, one of whom was hospitalised in critical condition. An additional ten firefighters were injured in the following rescue operation. No deaths have been reported.

Most sources give the cause as a natural gas leak that ignited; a ConEd spokesperson said that someone had reported a gas leak to them about one and a half hours before the explosion took place. The resulting fire, which began in the basement, burned strongly for some time, but was later brought under control by firefighters.

Numerous people described the shockwave from the blast as being similar to an earthquake.

Toronto to have socialized city-wide wi-fi access

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Thursday, March 9, 2006

Toronto’s public utility, Toronto Hydro Telecom, will make Canada’s largest city into a huge wireless hotspot.

“This is both an exciting and very important initiative for the city of Toronto”, said Toronto’s mayor, David Miller. “It puts us on the leading edge of the telecommunications industry nationwide and globally.”

Toronto Hydro Telecom will offer customers free access for the first six months. After that, it will begin to charge for services.

“Wi-Fi technology is the new benchmark for urban living”, stated Toronto Hydro president David Dobbin. “It’s standard equipment in many electronic devices, from laptops to portable entertainment units.”

Private telephone companies are questioning why a public utility needs to compete with the private sector.

Mike Lee of Rogers Communications Inc. questioned why the city of Toronto wanted to enter the internet access business.

“It will not be an easy business”, Lee told the National Post. “In this day and age, the focus should be on core operations more than anything. I was surprised to see they are looking to get into this business.”

Brian Sharwood, a telecom analyst in Toronto, said the municipality will likely install the wireless transmitters and receivers on its lamp posts as a way to blanket the city, a process known as “wireless mesh networking”.

Norfolk youths banned from buying eggs and ketchup

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Youths in the Norfolk town of Caister-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth, England, have been banned from purchasing “squirty bottles” of ketchup, and eggs after a number of complaints from residents in the area. The move, which is backed by the Norfolk Police, is aimed at reducing the number of anti-social incidents occurring in the area. Sergeant Andy Brown, of the Norfolk Police, has said that no further complaints have been received since the ban came into force.

I know it sounds a bit daft, but it has made a difference because we’ve had no more reported incidents since the supermarkets came on board.

While squirting ketchup itself is not a criminal offence, the damage that it can cause, such as removing paint from cars or houses, is often enough to bring charges of criminal damage. Sgt Brown said that there were “about a dozen complaints from residents, some of them elderly, about people squirting ketchup over doors, windows and vehicles.” Martin Bailie, a spokesperson for Lidl supermarkets, has defended his staff’s actions, saying “the stores’ staff were [already] challenging youngsters who were trying to bulk buy these things. It wasn’t that we haven’t been selling eggs and ketchup to youths, but have been careful about who we have sold them to, and we are glad it has been making a difference.”

Microsoft Silverlight released into first test phase

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Microsoft has finally released its long awaited “Silverlight” into Alpha Testing for the general public. “It’s the biggest challenge for Microsoft right now,” said Brent Thill, an analyst from Citigroup. This is the most direct threat to date, that Microsoft has posed to Adobe (makers of the popular Flash platform).

The creators of Silverlight have been promising a single plug-in which will work across all browsers and operating systems and will offer a rich video and interactive media experience which can be embedded within Web sites.

Microsoft has also promised to make some of the Silverlight technologies open source. This has been a popular decision among the computing industry, and has been a step away from the usual protection of their products.

While at MIX07, Microsoft also discussed its new package called Expression, which is set to be released in June, and will be an alternative to Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3).

Cancer, Diet And Global Warming With The Producer Of Healing Cancer From The Inside Out

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Submitted by: Kevin Gianni

This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni’s Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Mike Anderson shares on cancer, diet and global warming.

Renegade Water Secrets with Mike Anderson, is a medical researcher, author of The Rave Diet and film maker/producer of Eating and Healing Cancer from the Inside Out. Kevin:

So, Mike. If all this stuff isn t working, what is?

Mike:

Food. I site some studies in the film… the Office of Technology Assessment funded the Gerson Therapy. It beat the pants off conventional treatments. This was in different stages of melanoma. It just beat the pants off of conventional treatments. They don t like these studies. They don t want to fund them. It s very hard.

Macrobiotics went in front of the NIH, National Institute of Health and they tried to get funding because they presented six terminal cases, cancer cases, where the cancers were totally reversed. They were all biopsied and they were all confirmed and everything. Now, wouldn t you think that people should be interested in this? That they should fund more studies? No, they can t get any money for anymore funding for any.

You know allopathic medicine doesn t, their history is to shut down any nutritional approach because they are so threatened by it. Even, this was around the turn of the century, 2001 or so. It s on the website, the Sushi Institute. Anyway, they’re totally threatened because it does work. It is more effective. Instead of destroying the body, you’re trying to build it up.

I specifically included Macrobiotics because they have a long history, 100- year history. In fact, the founder of Macrobiotics reversed cancer. But they have a long history of reversing cancers. So I look at Macrobiotics and that s almost 100% cooked. Then I look at raw, and that s 100% raw, uncooked. And I think the bottom line here is that, the common ground is that they are all plant-based, 100% plant-based. They are all organic. Organic is very, very important because organic food is much higher in micronutrients, the anti-oxidant families. Those are the ones that are going to fight cancer effectively. It s a whole-foods organic diet and that s it. Whether it s raw or whether it s cooked is partly personal preference, in terms of case and stuff.

Kevin:

You knew that this film was going to cause some waves. So, one, how did you prepare for it? Two, what kind of feedback have you gotten from people who were not happy?

Mike:

I actually did not prepare very much for it. What I did was try and make it as credible as I can and close the loop on all the arguments. To make it as tight as possible. I ll tell you a story. I don t know if Brian Clement wants me to tell this or not, he was interviewed in the film, but he and his wife watched it for seven hours, seven hours looking for a loophole. They were primarily looking at some angle conventional doctors could use to attack me and they couldn t find it. So my approach was just make it as tight as possible and as credible as possible. As a result of that, I haven t had much negative feedback except that people don t want to talk to me.

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I have been on KPFK, they are a nonprofit, local station here in L.A. I’ve been on there and they were very receptive and so was the audience. I mean, people are hungry for this new. But getting it out there is very, very difficult.

People will say, Oh, my gosh. You should be on major news shows, and stuff like that. And I say, Well, have you looked at the sponsors of those news shows? They’ll never have me on. You know, you’ve got meat and dairy and drugs and I m preaching against all of those. So, it s difficult to get it out, but word of mouth is extraordinarily strong; it s pushing this whole thing. And thanks to shows like your and others, more and more people are getting on the bandwagon.

I was at the Raw Spirit Festival in Sedona this weekend and I had a lady and her husband come out, specifically to see me. They flew out from Tampa. And it was because they saw Healing Cancer a month ago. Her father started off with colon cancer, it spread to his liver, now it s in his lungs. He s had one round of chemo; he couldn t take it anymore. So they were looking for something. They put him on the diet and within a month all of his cancer markers had dropped dramatically. They were just thrilled by the whole thing. They wanted to fly out and just thank me because of it.

The strange thing is most people they have it in their mind that cancer is this dreaded disease that kills people. Well, you know, cardio vascular disease kills over twice as many people a cancer, that s a pretty scary disease. But people have it in their minds that cancer is more scary, but it s not. It can be controlled through food. People have this idea that, well, gee, cancer s a dangerous disease you need strong medicine. You need something that will make people s hair fall out and make them throw up all day for days on end and make them just sick. That s strong medicine. You need just the opposite. You need something that s going to build up the body. People, if they’ll get off this toxic diet they’re on and get on a good diet, they’ll see miraculous things happening. Not just with cancer, but the whole body will be healing.

Kevin:

Let s talk a little bit about the Rave diet. There s a lot of people who are on this call who don t know what that is. So, let s give a little bit of information on that and…

Mike:

OK. I wrote the book primarily because people were asking me for something to accompany the Eating DVD. Because after they see the Eating DVD, they’ll say, OK, I m ready to change my diet, but what do I do? And even though I list, at the end of the film, all kinds of books, and on the website even more, they wanted something from me. So, I put it together primarily as a very short, it reads very easily, very short guide, if you will, to how to change to this diet.

I have a transitional diet, too, because sometimes it s difficult for people to go on the full Rave diet. So I have an easier transitional diet so they can evolve into it. One guy, for example, it was too much for him because he had been eating processed foods all of his life and he had horrendous gas because of all the fiber. So I tell people, Ease up on it. You can go slowly, you know, unless you have some terrible disease you’re fighting. But what it stands for, Rave is an acronym, it means no refined foods. The A is no animal foods, the V, which gets me in trouble with most people all the time, means no vegetable oils; the E means no exceptions and exercise. There are a number of sub-rules within that. It s not just that acronym alone. Like, eat at least half of your food uncooked type of thing. Also ingredients lists, it s got a whole explanation of how to read ingredient lists and so forth. But it s done very well.

Kevin:

No oil. Let s talk about that.

Mike:

OK. I got this primarily, started out if you look at Ornish, Essylstyn, Furman, a lot of doctors who actually reversed heart disease and have studies to prove it; they all specifically exclude vegetable oils. There are clinical studies, it tears up the arteries. Essylstyn says it s as good for your arteries as roast beef. If you look at nutrient scales, the key to a good diet is getting the maximum amount of nutrients per calorie that you can. If you look at vegetable oils, they have the lowest nutrient value of any food on the planet. It s all fat, very few nutrient values per calorie on it.

It s a refined food, on top of it; the molecules in vegetable oils are unstable. They produce free radicals. It s a promoter of some cancers, particularly skin cancers, and on and on and on. So, I just say there are substitutes for it. If you’re cooking and you want to brown potatoes or something, use applesauce or apple juice or vegetable broth or something. You have to cook it slower, but it browns just as good. So, that s the schtook on vegetable oils. I m telling people in the beginning with this, Hey, you get on this you can reverse your heart disease. I m not going to go against all the doctors who have proven successfully

through tests that you can reverse heart disease. They all exclude the vegetable oils.

Kevin:

Yeah, I think it makes sense to follow the research of people that you have mentioned, like Furman and Essylstyn and these guys, instead of recreating the wheel on a theory.

Mike:

Right, right. I have to follow; these guys are my heroes. I can t challenge them and I want to, if someone comes out with a study of heart disease reversal which specifically includes vegetable oils, then I ll take a second look at it, as will they. But so far that hasn t happened.

Kevin:

Who do you think you’ve learned the most from?

Mike:

Geez, I don’t know. That s hard. Everyone s saying the same thing, essentially, in different ways and they’re doing their own thing. In the beginning, there were John Robbins, the emotional aspect of it, environmental, in particular. He was huge. McDougall, he was huge, too. He was giving all this reinforcement to the health. Then, of course, Fuhrman and Ornish and a number of others, Esselston. I would say probably McDougall and, in the very beginning, McDougall and John Robbins.

Kevin:

Great. You mentioned global warming, again, and I think we should probably talk about that because it was an added portion of the film, Eating. What are some of the implications of the way we eat, as related to global warming and the environment?

Mike:

It s methane, that s the major thing that s been overlooked. I m no expert in it, but what I did was summarize what the experts have said. It s hard for people to visualize this, but there are hundreds of millions of cows, and other livestock out there, that emit methane, both through the mouths and their rear ends. It goes into the atmosphere and methane is a powerful heat-trapper, much more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide will stay in the atmosphere much longer, but methane really traps heat. Studies have shown that, in fact, methane has caused nearly half of the global warming to-date. The number one source of methane is the animals we raise and eventually eat. So, the good thing about methane is that it only stays in the atmosphere for eight years. If people would cut back on their consumption of animal products, you could recycle out very quickly. There could be a more immediate impact on global warming, on cooling. That s not going to happen, but, say, everyone in the world cut back 1/3 of their meat consumption and reduced the livestock accordingly. That could have a major impact on global warming, and quite soon. Whereas carbon dioxide that stays in the atmosphere for so long. It s not going to have such an immediate impact on it and that s what we need is an immediate impact, because we re right there, as they call the tipping point.

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Kevin Gianni is an internationally recognized health advocate, author & film consultant. He has helped thousands of people take control of their own health naturally. For more information visit

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Russian submarine rescued by Royal Navy

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Sunday, August 7, 2005

A Russian submarine trapped during a training exercise in Berezov Bay, 75 km south of Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka, has been rescued after it was cut free by a Royal Navy Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The crew of seven officers and midshipmen, who spent three days in temperatures around 6oC and were running out of oxygen supplies, were unharmed.

The submarine appeared on the surface at 4:15 p.m. local time. “The crew opened the hatch and climbed the rescue ship’s deck on their own,” said Admiral Victor Fyedorov. The first aid to the crew was given on ship Alagez, and they were transferred to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka hospital.

The British Scorpio ROV cut fishing nets and debris, freeing the trapped submarine. “The rescue operation was completed successfully. We thank everyone, and especially the British rescue crew,” said Fyedorov.

The submarine will be repaired and modernized. “After salvaging it, AS-28 will be carried on one of the rescue ship’s decks to the coast, where specialists will examine it,” said a spokesperson of VMS (“Company for secondary metal and boats”). Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged an inquiry into the incident.

The United States and Japan also sent equipment to help in the rescue. However, it was not used.

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State of emergency in Sri Lanka remains despite calm returning after violence

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Schools reopened on Monday in Sri Lanka and the government said they had arrested hundreds of people for participating in anti-Muslim riots. A state of emergency remained in effect in the island nation which had been gripped by widespread violence which started in the Central Province. At least two people died. At least eleven mosques were reported torched and 200 homes and businesses burned when the violence was at its peak.

Police reported 230 arrests, both for direct involvement and for spreading anti-Muslim hate speech on the internet. Police said to expect more arrests in coming days. Lifting of the state of emergency was expected, according to Al Jazeera, but had not occurred as of Monday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited Kandy District over the weekend and told reporters victims will be compensated for damages.

Ever since a nearly three decade long civil war came to an end in 2009, relations between Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese Buddhist majority and Tamil Sunni Muslim minority have remained tense, but largely peaceful until this month.

On March 4, in the village of Teldeniya a traffic accident escalated into a fight wherein a group of young Muslim men beat a Buddhist man, who later died, according to Al Jazeera. On March 5, hundreds of Sinhalese, whom local residents and officials said were from outside the city, took to the streets of Kandy. The mob targeted Muslims’ homes and businesses, setting several of them on fire. A Muslim man’s dead body was found inside one of the burned buildings.

By March 6, the Sri Lankan government had declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew on the region. The emergency declaration by President Maithripala Sirisena allowed the army to be called into action. Nevertheless, the unrest and violence spread to several towns surrounding Kandy. Government officials surmised the rioters were coordinating their attacks at specific locations through social media. Internet access was cut off for the province, and social media including Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber were blocked for the entire country.

“Technology created to bring people together is being used to pull people apart. Social media websites […] have been used to destroy families, lives and private property,” said Harin Fernando, the Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, according to Sri Lanka Mirror.

On March 7, the curfew was expanded to be around-the-clock after, officials said, a hand grenade went off while a man was carrying it and killed him as well as injuring at least eleven other people. Police said they identified a hardline Buddhist nationalist who posted an anti-Muslim video, which was thought to be a source of incitement, on social media. Reports of violence spread as far as Weligama, which is on the southern coast of the island, some 240 km (150 miles) south of Kandy.

The next day, Thursday, mobs of rioters burned shops and threw Molotov cocktails at a mosque as religiously-fueled violence continued. The government arrested, by their account, Amith Weerasinghe, a hardline Buddhist-nationalist known for his anti-Muslim sentiments, as the suspected main agitator behind the violence.

Friday prayers at mosques were conducted under heavy police protection, without incident according to authorities. Also on Friday, hundreds of protesters, including Buddhist monks, gathered in the capital city Colombo and denounced the riots and violence. Saturday, President Sirisena announced an investigation of the violence in Kandy with a tribunal of retired judges. Kandy lifted curfew Saturday, but kept emergency powers in place.

Early Sunday morning, a restaurant in Anamaduwa, North Western Province was attacked despite heightened police presence, breaking a lull in violence since Thursday. Police arrested seven suspects in connection with the predawn petrol bomb attack on the restaurant. Meanwhile, in the Central Province, where the violence began over a week ago, the Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake announced schools would reopen Monday after being closed during the violence last week.

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