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Africans keep the leading position at 2008 Mumbai Marathon

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Standard Chartered Marathon, nicknamed “The Greatest Race on Earth“, held its third stage in Mumbai, India today. Because of the scorching hot weather in India, marathon runners had to adapt to the weather to overcome the challenge.

More than 30,000 runners participated in this race, joined by local NGOs and disabled who participated in a special charity short-distance running including 6km dream run, 4.3 km senior, and 2.5km wheel-chair classes. Gabriela Szabo, former Romanian Olympic Gold Medalist, named as charity ambassador of the race, was pleased by the participation from experts and NGOs.

An hour into the race, former champion Daniel Rono and Joseph Kimisi took the lead, but then Tariku Jifar from Ethiopia and defending champion John Ekiru Kelai took over Rono and Kimisi. After 40 kilometres, Kelai took a decisive lead and finally retained his champion title in 2 hours 12 minutes 22 seconds.

In the Women’s Group, Mulu Seboka from Ethiopia won the champion with 2H30m03s. Local runners Surendra Singh & Kavita Raut won the Men’s and Women’s Champions in the half-marathon class.

Division & Groups Men’s Group Women’s Group
South East Asia Dang Duc Bao Nguyen (Vietnam) 2:30’57” Pacharee Chaitongsri (Thailand) 2:55’29”
North East Asia Chin-chi Chiang (Chinese Taipei) 2:33’33” Xin Zhang (China) 2:53’59”
South Asia and Middle East Ajith Bandara Adikari Mudiyanselage (Sri Lanka) 2:24’07” Lakmini Anuradhi Bogahawatta (Sri Lanka) 3:04’21”
Africa John Ekiru Kelai (Kenya B) 2:12’22” Irene Kemunto Mogaka (Kenya B) 2:32’50”
Europe and Oceania Oleg Kharitonov (Russia) 2:30’55” Helen Stanton (Australia) 2:52’33”
America Paulino Canchanya Canchanya (Peru) 2:28’13” Rosangela Figueredo Silva (Brazil) 2:58’16”

Division & Groups Men’s Group Women’s Group
South East Asia Vietnam Thailand
North East Asia Chinese Taipei China
South Asia & Middle East India Sri Lanka
Africa Kenya B Kenya B
Europe & Oceania Russia Finland
America Peru United States

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Four people die after contracting H1N1 swine flu virus in West Midlands, England

Friday, November 6, 2009

Four people from the NHS West Midlands in England have died after contracting the H1N1 swine flu virus. With these deaths, the number of people that have been killed in the West Midlands from the disease has now increased to 19.

NHS West Midlands has said that the number of people admitted to hospitals in the region with the disease this week was 203, whereas last week there were 146. It was also said that the number of inpatients taken into hospitals in the area was 95 from this Wednesday onwards.

Dr. Rashmi Shukla, the regional director of Public Health in the National Health Service, said about the incident: “We would expect to see a rise in respiratory illness, such as swine flu, at this time of year, and we would like to remind people that they should continue to adhere to good respiratory and hand hygiene practices to reduce chances of the virus spreading.

“Unfortunately there have been a further four swine-flu related deaths and our thoughts are with the families of these patients at this very sad time. The vaccination programme has started well across the West Midlands. It is very important that frontline health and social care workers in the West Midlands have this vaccine to protect themselves, their families and their patients.”

Thomson Corporation and Reuters agree to merge

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Thomson Corporation and Reuters agree to merge
Author: RdBXvzh4

13 Aug

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Thomson Corporation and Reuters Group PLC announced Tuesday that they have agreed to combine the two companies. The boards of both Thomson and Reuters will recommend the merger to their shareholders.

The Canadian Thomson-family holding company Woodbridge, which controls 70% of Thomson, has agreed to vote in favour of the deal and the Reuters Founders Share Company, which controls a special share in Reuters, will also support the merger.

Based on the TSX CA$46.36 closing share price of Thomson on May 14, 2007, each Reuters share would be valued at 691 pence and, therefore, the full capital of Reuters valued at approximately £8.7 billion. Cash requirements for the deal are to be provided by Thomson. Woodbridge will own approximately 53 percent of the combined company, other Thomson shareholders 23 percent and Reuters shareholders about 24 percent.

The merger arrangement will leave two separate companies that will be operated as a single entity. The boards of the two companies will be identical as will the senior executive management team. Thomson will be renamed to Thomson-Reuters Corporation, and will be listed on both the TSX and the NYSE. Thomson-Reuters PLC will list on the London Stock Exchange and the NYSE.

Reuters current CEO, Tom Glocer, will become CEO of the combined company while Thomson President and CEO Richard J. Harrington will retire at the completion of the merger.

Thomson has currently 32,000 employees worldwide, with operations in 37 countries and revenues of US$6.6 billion in 2006. Thomson’s major business operations centre around financial information and legal services, with smaller ventures in tax accounting, health care, and the scientific field. Thomson is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, in the United States.

Reuters is one of the world’s largest news agencies, with a total of 16,800 staff in all divisions, but derives more than 90 percent of its revenue from its financial service business. It is the merger of Thomson and Reuter’s financial services divisions that may have been the genesis of the talks. It has been suggested that both companies wanted a better economy of scale to compete with Bloomberg, the American financial services giant.

“We are enormously proud of the evolution of The Thomson Corporation and the value it has created for all our shareholders,” said David Thomson, Chairman of Thomson. “We recognize the rich history of Reuters and are committed to uphold the Reuters Trust Principles.”

The chairman of Reuters, Niall FitzGerald, expressed his satisfaction with the merger. “The shared expertise and complementary strengths of these two companies makes for a strategically compelling and financially attractive combination,” said FitzGerald in a joint press release. “I am especially proud that Reuters journalism will continue to be governed by the powerful Reuter Trust Principles of independence, integrity and freedom from bias.”

The new company is projecting efficiencies of greater than US$500 million per year, by the end of the third year after closing the deal.

Criticisms were raised by Reuters journalists, who voiced concerns in an open letter to the Reuters Founders Share Company. They worried whether or not “a reconstituted Reuters would maintain the high standards of journalism and the integrity, independence and freedom from bias that have shaped the company’s 156-year-old reputation.”

It is expected that the merger will draw the attention of regulators due to the size and nature of the transaction. “Antitrust authorities in Europe and the U.S. are almost certain to apply a more detailed and lengthy review of the acquisition than is typical, because of the limited number of companies that supply prices, data, news and financial tools,” said Simon Baker, analyst, Credit Suisse in London.

CyanogenMod: Open-source smartphone OS goes commercial

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CyanogenMod: Open-source smartphone OS goes commercial
Author: RdBXvzh4

13 Aug

Thursday, September 19, 2013

File:CyanogenMod Cid.svg

The developers of CyanogenMod, an open source free Android-based operating system for smartphones, announced yesterday their incorporation following a successful venture capital campaign which netted the open-source project a US$7 million nest egg, and plan to roll out a simple installation app on Google Play for their Android firmware.

Android runs nearly 80% of new mobile devices; CyanogenMod operates on at least 7 or 8 million of those. CyanogenMod replaces the read-only-memory image in android devices which have been ‘rooted’ —control acquired of the device’s superuser account— allowing continuing development for, and backporting abilities of new generations of the operating system to, older devices.

Investor Mitch Lasky wrote on his blog “We believe that CM is poised to become one of the largest mobile operating systems in the world.” Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures are part of the capital providers to form Cyanogen Inc.

“The only limitation we have right now is with the number of engineers and designers we currently have. As we hire more people and build this company, we’ll be able to work on so many cool things”, said Koushik ‘koush’ Dutta, who took questions alongside Steve ‘cyanogen’ Kondik and team social media manager Abhisek “ciwrl” Devkota in a Reddit Ask Me Anything event shortly after making the announcement on the CyanogenMod blog. The team of 17, including Boost co-founder Kirt McMaster as CEO, are in Palo Alto, California and Seattle.

Kondik says Cyanogen mod is named after him. “I’m terrible with names, so I just slapped ‘mod’ onto the end of my handle and ran with it”, he explained in the incorporation announcement.

An early question raised in the Reddit event concerned profit-making: “Monetization isn’t an immediate concern and our investors […] feel the same”, said Dutta, adding “Creating disruption in a multibilion dollar market is enough to make any investor raise their eyebrow.” This means CyanogenMod would continue to be free. Follow questions asked if the company was planning to release their own model of android device. “We certainly couldn’t take on the monumental task of building/testing hardware [right now]. Hardware would be one of many potential very long term paths we could take”, said Dutta.

The firm’s first announced step is to improve the process of installing the software on owner’s devices, which Kondik described as “hideous”. A new installer app is planned to be released “in the coming weeks” on Google Play. The installer app will not require rooting the device, instead installing by simply clicking a button.

A further step, broadly described without any details, is a project with an unnamed original equipment manufacturer (OEM). “We have a least one OEM partnership in the works, there will be an announcement next week regarding our plans there”, said Kondik. The team mentioned OEM licensing several times during the Q&A session on Reddit.

In addition to these corporate steps, there were questions regarding the roadmap for development of the ROM, which already has improvements regarding privacy and security over the native android loader. With “plenty of things in the product pipeline already” Dutta lists additional security features, AirPlay mirroring, screen recording, and Voice+ as upcoming. The mood throughout the event was jovial, with humourous questions such as “can you guys PLEASE release a CM build for my toaster? I’m not sure what model it is, but it’s white and I got it at Savers.” Kondik promised “Ship it to me and I’ll duct tape a G1 running CM to it”. Dutta said his “10 of your favorite lines of source code” are “The ones that worked when they shouldn’t have.”

Wikinews interviews organiser of New Zealand’s Rock2Wgtn festival Phil Sprey

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Wikinews interviews organiser of New Zealand’s Rock2Wgtn festival Phil Sprey
Author: RdBXvzh4

13 Aug

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Across Easter weekend Wellington, New Zealand was host to Rock2Wgtn, an international two-day hard rock festival. Large crowds showed up at Westpac Stadium to see the various acts. The world has never seen an event of this kind before.

Day one featured three theatrical acts. Finnish band Lordi, known for their monster costumes, opened the night. They were followed by the US shock rocker Alice Cooper, whose themed set included the horror theatrics regularly associated with him and a hanging stunt he recently restarted after a gallows collapse nearly killed him two decades ago. The night was headlined by the distinctively costumed band KISS, complete with their famed black-and-white makeup.

The first major act on the stage on day two was the American hard rock/glam metal band Poison. After Poison, British act Whitesnake took to the stage and performed their set to the crowd. British-born American rocker Ozzy Osbourne, who, as well as a solo career, fronts the world-famous Black Sabbath, was the second night’s headline act.

The festival’s entertainment did not stop at the six main acts. There was also support performances from three New Zealand bands – The Symphony of Screams, The Valves and Sonic Altar. Their sets were accompanied by a special effects package from award-winning studio Weta Workshops, who are known for their work on movies such as The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. This came in the form of ‘Drusila the Dragon’, which rose up to a height of six foot and wigspan and moved for the audience, shining lasers from its eyes and breathing red smoke. Flame Fire Productions were hired to put on a fire show featuring several dancers alongside the performers. Also performing were six local guitarists and a group of ‘zombie‘ cheerleaders.

Despite the crowds that flocked to the event, however, it has recently become apparent that financial trouble has hit the festival. Although figures remain to be confirmed, an estimated NZ$750,000 has been lost.

Wikinews secured an exclusive interview with Phil Sprey of Capital C Concerts, who organised the festival. The entire interview is now available below.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Libertarian candidate Larry Stevens, Kitchener-Conestoga

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Libertarian candidate Larry Stevens, Kitchener-Conestoga
Author: RdBXvzh4

13 Aug

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Larry Stevens is running for the Libertarian Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his 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.

Spanish court considering torture criminal case against former U.S. officials

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Spanish court considering torture criminal case against former U.S. officials
Author: RdBXvzh4

12 Aug

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Spanish court is considering opening a criminal investigation into whether six former George W. Bush administration officials gave legal cover for torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Baltasar Garzón, a Spanish judge with an international reputation for bringing cases against high-profile alleged human rights violators, sent the case to the prosecutor’s office to review whether it has any merit. Among the officials identified in the potential case is former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The prosecutor’s office must issue a recommendation on the merits of the case and on whether the high court has jurisdiction to pursue it. A response is expected by next month, and an official close to the case said it was “highly probable” it would go forward and lead to arrest warrants.

Spanish law allows the courts to pursue cases of torture and war crimes beyond Spanish borders. But American legal experts said the warrants, if issued, would be a largely symbolic gesture and that the officials would likely not be arrested if they did not leave the United States.

The officials are accused of providing the framework of policies and legal opinions that justified torture at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and afforded no protection under the Geneva Convention to Al-Qaeda suspects.

The charges as related to me make no sense

“The charges as related to make make no sense,” said Douglas J. Feith, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, who is one of the six accused former officials. “They criticize me for promoting a controversial position that I never advocated.”

The other officials are former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington, Pentagon attorney William Haynes, and Justice Department officials John Yoo and Jay Bybee.

If I were them, I would search for a good lawyer

Gonzalo Boyé, a lawyer for the group, said that the officials cited had well-documented roles in approving illegal interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, which are widely regarded as torture. Spain typically investigates and prosecutes torture under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, to which the United States is a party. “If I were them, I would search for a good lawyer,” said Boyé of the accused officials.

Defenders of the officials said their legal analyses, which were conducted immediately following the September 11 attacks, are now being unfairly second-guessed.

Several human rights groups have asked judges in different countries to indict Bush officials for war crimes. Judge Garzón, best known for issuing an arrest warrant for Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, has himself has been outspoken about the treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

A Spanish human rights group called the Association for Dignity of Inmates filed the criminal complaint.

Swimmer Michael Phelps of the U.S. wins first gold medal of 2008 Summer Olympics, breaks world record

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Swimmer Michael Phelps of the U.S. wins first gold medal of 2008 Summer Olympics, breaks world record
Author: RdBXvzh4

12 Aug

Sunday, August 10, 2008

In Beijing, China at the 2008 Summer Olympics, American Swimmer Michael Phelps has won the gold medal for the U.S. Team in the 400 individual medley swimming event.

Phelps clocked in at 4:03.84 managing to break his previous best time of 4:05.25 by almost 2 seconds, and setting a new world record in the event. This was his first gold medal won in the 2008 games. Phelps will swim the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay tomorrow in an attempt to win his second gold medal.

Laszlo Cseh from Hungary came in second and received the silver medal, while Ryan Lochte from the U.S. came in third to win bronze.

2008 Taste of Taiwan Cuisine: A complex to redefine Taiwan’s MICE industry

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2008 Taste of Taiwan Cuisine: A complex to redefine Taiwan’s MICE industry
Author: RdBXvzh4

10 Aug

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ever since the Taste of Taiwan Cuisine, a complex to promote the MICE (meeting, incentive travel, conference, and exhibition) and cultural industries in Taiwan exclusively in June, made its initiation at 2006, the tourism ratio from foreigners were progressively increased in this complex event.

To bring up the MICE industry, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the event organizer, arranged several key events including Taipei Trade Shows, travel packages, views, and conferences for international businesspeople. This effectively redefined the MICE industry in Taiwan during the event.

As the 2008 WiMAX Expo Taipei and COMPUTEX Taipei jointly showcased in the Taipei World Trade Center Hall 1 – 3, Taipei International Convention Center, and TWTC Nangang, the potential of ICT industry in Taiwan were demonstrated to drive more discussions between international businesspeople during the show hours and conferences.

Products related to current incidents including energy-efficiency, environmental-friendly, and low-prices were highly respected from industrial businesspeople. In addition to several forums and seminars, topical issues including environment and energy-saving were also mentioned during the shows.

Apart from seminars and trade shows, since the TWTC Nangang was launched on March 13, the venue brought opportunities for several industries. As the government claimed to promote the MICE industry positively, Taiwan will keep its stable position on international sourcing center in Asia with more trade shows expanded to TWTC Nangang.

Culinary, historical ancestry, natural views, and country images, are key factors to demonstrate the culture of a nation. Different from them, the creativity and innovations showcased another style in its [cultural] industry.

A good example was the organization of three theme shows for food and packaging industries – “Food Taipei”, “Foodtech Taipei”, and “Taipei Pack”, a collective with different cultures from twenty-seven countries including United States, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Sri Lanka, Austria, Philippines, Chile, Malaysia, Spain, Fiji, Poland, and six nations from Africa.

Not only the shows, the TAITRA also provided several special coupon cards for international businesspeople to discount in several local department stores, hotels, tourism views, and gourmet stores to rise up the tourism industry.

Although the tourism industry was firmly prosper as trade shows went smoothly, but when a great shows took place at Taipei World Trade Center, it still exposed a major problem on transportation although Walter Yeh, Vice President of TAITRA, ever emphasized to improve this critical issue in a press conference.