US automaker bailout deal fails to pass Senate

US automaker bailout deal fails to pass Senate

Friday, December 12, 2008

A US$14 billion bailout package deal for the “Big Three” United States automakers — Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors — has been rejected in the United States Senate after failing a procedural vote.

The bill was rejected after bipartisan discussions on the bailout broke down when Republican Party leaders insisted that the United Auto Workers (UAW) union agree to increase wage cuts by next year in order to bring their pay into line with those of Japanese automobile companies in the United States. The UAW refused to meet the demands.

The final vote count in the Senate was 52-35, eight short of the 60 needed to pass. Only ten Republicans joined forty Democrats and two independents in voting for the bill. Three Democrats voted with thirty-one Republicans against it.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said that he was “terribly disappointed” by the failure of the bill to pass. “I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight,” Reid said. “Millions of Americans, not only the auto workers but people who sell cars, car dealerships, people who work on cars are going to be directly impacted and affected.”

Did the Senate do the right thing in rejecting the bailout plan?
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Republican Senator Bob Corker was also unhappy about the rejection. “We were about three words away from a deal. We solved everything substantively and about three words keep us from reaching a conclusion,” he said.

Some Democrats now want U.S. President Bush to reserve a portion of the $700 billion bailout package earmarked for Wall Street to assist the flagging car industry.

Stock markets worldwide fell dramatically on the news, with Japan’s Nikkei average losing 484.68 points, or 5.6 percent, reaching a level of 8253.87 points. Shares in the auto companies Toyota, Nissan and Honda all dropped by no less than 10 percent apiece. European stocks, such as those in the United Kingdom and Germany, also lost ground, with the FTSE-100 index of leading shares falling 176.3 points to a level of 4,211 at midday.

Mexico and world react to murdered journalists

Mexico and world react to murdered journalists

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This past weekend, over 100 journalists in Mexico City protested around a statue where a mock note said in translation, “Government Journalist Killer” in reaction to deaths in Veracruz. Recent journalist killings have also provoked international condemnation.

Earlier Javier Duarte de Ochoa, governor of Veracruz, said Friday he would create a state-led organization to protect journalists after recent violence against journalists, including the discovery of dead photojournalists.

Journalists around the nation and the government of Veracruz are reacting to the dismembered bodies of four Mexicans, three of them photojournalists, who were found in a canal in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, on Thursday, which happened to coincide with World Press Freedom Day, which is held on May 3 every year.

Two of the photographers worked for Notiver and later VeracruzNews. They were identified as Gabriel Huge and Guillermo Luna. The body of Luna’s girlfriend Irasema Becerra was also found. The other photographer, Esteban Rodríguez, had worked as a videographer for TV Azteca before working for Diario AZ.

The Committee to Protect Journalists released the following statement in condemning the death of the three photographers: “We are deeply troubled by reports of these murders that, coming as they do on World Press Freedom Day underscore the ongoing crisis in Mexico. Veracruz has seen a wave of lethal anti-press violence that is sowing widespread fear and self-censorship. Mexican authorities must act now to end the deadly cycle of impunity in crimes against the press.”

Irina Bokova, who is the director-general of UNESCO, said, “That these gruesome crimes have been committed on the eve of World Press Freedom Day – a day on which we honour the vital role played by journalists in upholding democratic values, protecting citizens’ rights to be informed and calling those in power to account – makes the situation all the more intolerable…I condemn these three murders in the strongest possible terms and urge the Mexican authorities to act quickly and decisively to find those responsible. Impunity is not an option.”

On the Saturday before the deaths, the body of Proceso journalist Regina Martinez was found in her Xalapa apartment. Martinez had been investigating other journalists who had been killed in the state of Veracruz. The three bodies of photographers and Regina Martinez bring to eight the number of journalists killed in Veracruz in the past year and a half.

Four journalists died in Veracruz in 2011. The long-time crime journalist for Notiver, Miguel Ángel López Velasco, better known by his pseudonym Milo Vera, was killed along with his wife and son. López’s son Miseal López Solana was a crime photographer at Notiver who often worked with his father. About one month after their death, the body of their colleague and friend at Notiver Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz was found decaptitated with a note at the crime scene. She was investigating the López’s murder at the time. Earlier in 2011, Noel López Olguín of the La Verdad de Jáltipan was murdered.

In March 2012, the Mexican Congress approved a Constitutional amendment to make it a federal offense to attack a journalist and that would need six more states to sign on before it would become the law. Over the last ten years, the toll of the Mexican Drug War has been high on journalists as more than 80 have been killed and another fourteen are missing, according to Reporters Without Borders. Almost 50,000 people have died during Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s drug war.

The drug cartel known as the Zetas are active in Veracruz. However, a cartel that is closely allied with the Sinaloa cartel headed by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and is based out of Jalisco is at war with the Zetas over territory. Both of the competing cartels have been pressuring journalists in Veracruz to cover only its side of the story.

Mike O’Connor, a spokesperson for CPJ on Mexico, said, “It’s hard to imagine what else reporters can do to stay safe there.”

In other news on World Press Freedom Day, UNESCO presented Azerbaijan journalist Eynulla Fatullayev with its Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize at a conference on press freedom in Tunisia. He spent four years in prison for his journalism.

In New York, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon led a moment of silence to honor the 74 journalists who died since 2011, of which fourteen have already died this year. This figure does not include the most recent discovery of Mexican journalists.

GM and Chrysler receive Canadian loans amid US restructuring ultimata

GM and Chrysler receive Canadian loans amid US restructuring ultimata

Friday, April 3, 2009

General Motors (GM) and Chrysler will receive bridge loans from the government of Canada and the provincial government of Ontario, however no more will be forthcoming from either Canadian or US governments unless the companies can reinvent themselves.

“This is a regrettable but necessary step to protect the Canadian economy. We are doing this on the assumption that we obviously cannot afford either in the United States or Canada a catastrophic short-term collapse.” said Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

“We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish. This industry is, like no other, an emblem of the American spirit; a once and future symbol of America’s success,” said Barack Obama, President of the United States. “These companies – and this industry – must ultimately stand on their own, not as wards of the state.”

Chrysler will receive CA$1 billion and may in fact be eligible for as much as CA$4 billion. If Chrysler succeeds in the next 30 days with a restructuring plan it would be eligible for a US$6 billion loan. A part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan must include a partnership with Fiat within 30 days to appease the US administration. Fiat is a supplier of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles, and the merger will help Chrysler to be viable in the North American market. A Chrysler court bankruptcy would inevitably lead to it being sold off.

As a part of Chrysler’s restructuring plans, Tom LaSorda, the president of Chrysler announced that Canadian operations would fold if it does not receive both the US commitment of $2.3 billion of aid and a new Canadian Auto Workers CAW contract to reduce all-in costs by CA$19 per hour. As a result of this announcement Chrysler’s auto sales volume in Canada dropped 23% compared to March of 2008.

GM has until the end of May to restructure its company to receive up to CA$7.5 billion. As part of the companies restructuring, General Motor’s chief executive Rick Wagoner was replaced Sunday with Fritz Henderson, the current chief operating officer. Henderson spoke out on Tuesday that GM has submitted a restructuring plan which would close five plants, and this may be increased to meet the requirements for financial aid. He is in full compliance with Obama’s auto task force to seek bankruptcy if GM cannot negotiate with their unions, bondholders and others.

GM recently brought forward the “GM Total Confidence” program providing consumer purchase protection for customers who lose their job for economic reasons within the first two years from purchase. As a result of Chrysler’s restructuring announcement in Canada, GM’s Canadian vehicle sales volume fell only 17.3% compared to 2008, an increase from the previous month.

GM must reduce some of its legacy costs which include its pensions and union health care costs. A part of GM’s ailments arose from investing in supplying truck and SUVs during an economy of high gas prices when consumers were demanding fuel efficient vehicles.

Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry, is hoping that the CAW will support the restructuring process and re-negotiate their agreement. Whereas a United Auto Workers negotiator has said, “I don’t see how the UAW will do anything until they see what the bondholders will give up.”

The Obama administration is looking toward bankruptcy proceedings for the automakers, “as a mechanism to help them restructure quickly and emerge stronger. [It will] quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down. What we are asking is difficult. It will require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more. It will require creditors to recognise that they cannot hold out for the prospect of endless government bailouts.” said Obama.

The auto parts suppliers and IT software exporters in India have already been affected by the declining auto sales. GM and Chrysler software contracts provide US$300 to 350 million a year to vendors in India. As well these two major automakers usually award US$1 billion contracts to auto parts suppliers. “We are worried and closely watching the developments in the US to gauge the impact. The decline in auto sales in the US has already hit the order books of Indian suppliers,” said a Delhi auto parts supplier.

“Going forward, the industry will undoubtedly be smaller, but if our efforts are successful it will be viable and it will support good jobs for Canadians,” said Clements.

Betty Sutton, Ohio’s Congresswoman put forward the CARS act which provides a US$3,000 to 5,000 incentive for those who trade in their vehicle for a fuel-efficient car. “It clearly stimulates the economy, and it gets the consumer into the showroom and gets them buying again. But importantly — and this is what I particularly like about it — it really helps the environment quite a bit in two respects.” said William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Company has not come forward with requests for assistance.

Since December GM and Chrysler have received US$17.4 billion government loans.

How should the automakers re-invent themselves?
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Birmingham Airport Lost Luggage How To Prevent It And What To Do If It Happens To You}

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Birmingham airport lost luggage how to prevent it and what to do if it happens to you


Paula Garrett

Losing your luggage, having it misplaced or stolen is every Birmingham airport passengers nightmare. Whether you are on a business trip, quick weekend away, or family holiday, the pain associated with lost or delayed luggage can spoil your trip.

Figures published worldwide show that millions of passengers every year suffer the inconvenience of mishandled baggage.

One airline estimates that the number of bags handled per month has increased by 25% since the new hand luggage restrictions were introduced. This must play a significant part in the increase in mishandled baggage. Figures published by the Association of European Airlines, based on 23 members data, showed that system wide in the second quarter of 2007 (April June) 16 bags per 1,000 handled were delayed or lost this is an average figure, one airline reported 28 per 1,000!

Mishandled luggage falls into several categories: delayed (missed the flight), lost, damaged or stolen.

Delayed baggage approximately 98% of all baggage classified as delayed is returned to its owners.

Damaged or stolen – when you collect your luggage from the carousel, check the tag to ensure that it really is your case, check for signs of damage or tampering and report problems immediately before leaving the airport.

Although we cannot ensure that the airline puts our baggage on the plane, we can take steps to reduce the likelihood of loss or damage to our baggage and, if the worst happens, help in the return of your luggage if it is misplaced.

The following tips are designed to help you pack and what to do in the event of your luggage being mishandled:


Before packing, check your suitcase carefully; check the seams, fabric and zips to ensure that it will withstand the rough treatment it could receive by the baggage handlers. If you are in any doubt, replace your suitcase. Go for sturdy luggage, good quality luggage, however, be aware that having expensive looking luggage can be a beacon to luggage thieves expensive luggage suggests expensive contents.

Remove loose straps or other items hanging from your case and make sure that you have removed old luggage tags and tagged your bags with your new destination address and contact details.

Dont over pack your case, if its bulging at the seams it stands more chance of bursting open and you could loose items. Its better to pack two suitcases and pay extra than risk loss or damage to your belongings.

A common cause of delayed or lost baggage is late check-ins avoid wherever possible.

Write an inventory of everything you pack, keep a note of the make, model and colour of your case if your suitcase is lost it will assist you in your claim. Quite often you can forget something important that youve packed and neglect to claim for it. Receipts help to prove the value of the items and age.

Put your name and address inside each piece of luggage to help identify you luggage should the exterior labels become detached.

Pack valuables, jewellery, house keys, mobile phones, cameras, passports, visas, documents etc. in your hand luggage airlines often have clauses in their terms and conditions stating that they do not accept responsibility for such items.

Make sure your travel insurance covers your luggage, particularly when the airline is in control of it. Should your luggage be damaged, delayed or lost your airline is responsible under the Montreal Convention, but its still wise to make sure you have covered your baggage with your insurance.

If youre travelling with a companion or family, split the luggage ensuring you pack clothes for each traveller in each case, that way, if your bag is lost or delayed you will have clothes to change into.

Dont pack anything in your case that you cant do without, such as essential medicines check with your airline before travelling due to current liquid restrictions.

Dont forget to lock your luggage.

When checking in baggage, make sure that the airline tags your bags with the correct travel details and make sure you keep hold of your ticket luggage tags.

What to do in the event of mishandled luggage

If your luggage doesnt arrive in the baggage reclaim area, report it immediately, and do not leave the airport before completing the paperwork for your lost luggage. Try to get contact details to follow up your claim. Some airlines have websites where you can track you lost baggage with a tracking number given to you at the time of your claim, others deal with lost luggage via telephone. Make sure you get as much information about your claim as possible and give as much information about your luggage and contact details before leaving the airport.

The Montreal Convention requires airlines to treat a bag as lost after twenty-one days. You may be asked to provide a list of the items that were in your missing bag and possibly for receipts. The amount you can claim from the airline is capped under the Montreal Convention, so you may find you will get a better settlement figure by claiming from your travel insurance.

Under the Montreal Convention claims should be made to an airline in writing with the following specified time limits:

Damaged baggage seven days from the receipt of the bags


Delayed baggage twenty-one days from delivery

Lost baggage no time limit specified in the Convention – but passengers are advised to make the complaint as soon as possible after the bag has been missing for twenty-one days, or after the airline has declared the bag lost if sooner.

Trialling of new radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging technology is due to take place in the UK shortly, but in the meantime, by following the above advice you should minimise the likelihood of damage, delay and loss of your luggage.

Paula Garrett is a frequent traveller. For further information and guidance on how to prevent

lost luggage at Birmingham airport

and for airline contact details check out

Birmingham airport information


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Birmingham airport lost luggage how to prevent it and what to do if it happens to you }

Wikinews interviews Jim Hedges, U.S. Prohibition Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Jim Hedges, U.S. Prohibition Party presidential candidate
December 13th, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Saturday, January 29, 2011

U.S. Prohibition Party presidential candidate Jim Hedges of Thompson Township, Pennsylvania took some time to answer a few questions about the Prohibition Party and his 2012 presidential campaign.

The Prohibition Party is the third oldest existing political party in the United States, having been established in 1869. It reached its height of popularity during the late 19th century. The party heavily supported the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which banned the sale of alcohol, and resulted in the US period known as Prohibition (1919–33). It was repealed in 1933. The party has declined since this period, but has continued to nominate candidates for the presidential election.

In 2003, the party split into two factions. Preacher Gene Amondson and perennial candidate Earl Dodge were nominated for the presidency by their respective factions. After Dodge’s death in 2007, the party reunified and named Amondson as its sole presidential nominee for 2008. During the election, Amondson was interviewed by Wikinews. He died in 2009, leaving an opening in the party for 2012.

Jim Hedges is a longtime Prohibition activist, who holds the distinction of the first individual of the 21st century (and the first since 1959) to be elected to a political office under the Prohibition Party banner. In 2001, he was elected as the Thompson Township tax assessor, and was re-elected to the post in 2005. He served until his term expired in 2010. Hedges declared his intent to run for the Prohibition Party presidential nomination on February 18, 2010. This marks his first run for the presidency.

Interview with Reggie Bibbs on his life with neurofibromatosis

Interview with Reggie Bibbs on his life with neurofibromatosis
December 13th, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday, December 14, 2007

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic condition causing benign tumors (neurofibromas) to grow along certain types of nerves and, in addition, it can affect the development of bones or skin. There are several variants of the disease but type 1 and type 2 NF account for the vast majority of cases.

The disease manifestations can vary from very mild to severe. Major symptoms include growths on and under the skin; skin pigmentations called café au lait spots in type 1; acoustic nerve tumors and consequent hearing loss in type 2. Growths can affect nearly all parts of the body, and pressure on nearby structures can cause a wide variety of complications. There is a small risk that the tumors transform into malignant cancerous lesions.

NF is one of the most common single-gene human diseases; around 1 in 2,500-4,000 live births are affected by NF-1, whereas NF-2 occurs in about 1 in 50,000-120,000. Both type 1 and 2 are autosomal dominant conditions, meaning that only one copy of the mutated gene need be inherited to pass the disorder. A child of a parent with neurofibromatosis and an unaffected parent will have a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder. The gene responsible for NF-1 and possibly NF-2 is thought to function as a tumor suppressor gene.

In most cases of neurofibromatosis 1, patients can live normal and productive lives. In about 25-40% of patients there is an associated learning disability with or without ADHD. In some cases of neurofibromatosis 2, the damage to nearby vital structures, such as the cranial nerves and the brainstem, can be life-threatening. When tumors are causing pain or disfiguration, surgery is thus far the only proven beneficial treatment option.

Reggie Bibbs is a 43-year-old-man living in Houston, Texas. Mr Bibbs was born with a genetic disease called neurofibromatosis (NF), which causes him to develop tumors on his body (see infobox on the right). NF can be a subtle disease, but in Bibbs’ case it has left him with a disfigured face and deformed leg. But he is happy with the way he looks, and doesn’t want to change his appearance to please other people. He has launched a successful campaign entitled “Just Ask”, and that’s just what Wikinews did in a video-interview.

The interview was prepared by Wikinews reporter Michaël Laurent with the help of Bertalan Meskó (who has a popular genetics and web 2.0 blog). Their questions were sent to a close friend of Mr. Bibbs, Lou Congelio, who kindly conducted the interview.


  • 1 Infobox: What is neurofibromatosis?
  • 2 The interview
    • 2.1 On neurofibromatosis
    • 2.2 Growing up
    • 2.3 A head to toe body tour
    • 2.4 The daily life of Reggie Bibbs
    • 2.5 Raising awareness and his campaign
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Relationship Advice: Basic Rules For A Long Term Relationship

December 13th, 2017 in Boutique Hotels | No Comments

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Relationship Advice: Basic Rules For a Long Term Relationship



1) Stay confident THROUGHOUT: A lot of guys don t recognize this but as a relationship progresses, their confidence seems to gradually decline. They get jealous more easily, insecure in more ways, etc. This is because you have a long way to go before becoming a true Alpha, where confidence is infinite and insecurities can no longer exist. In the mean time, don t lose control of yourself. Your insecurities are unfounded no matter how you look at them. And Remember, your insecurities can ONLY hurt you. So revealing them as a relationship progresses doesn t strengthen your relationship because you were being honest, and opening up, it only shows your girlfriend that your actually an insecure bitch basket and that the confident, masculine guy she thought you were was a visage to get laid.

2) Don t see her more than two or three times a week: If you see her too often, you ll both get bored, take each other for granted, lose your passion, etc. If you don t see her enough, she ll think you re not interested or committed enough. Balance is the key here. STAY BUSY. Have something else to do. If you have to pretend to be busy, then you need to re-evaluate your life because a girl is the least of your problems.

3) Don t say I love you first: This is equivalent to going to a war but telling your opponent your strategy beforehand. There are a myriad of reasons why you shouldn t say this, I ll discuss it in a later post. For starters, it ruins challenge and mystery and shifts the balance of the relationship. Now she feels like she is qualifying you to see if she loves you, which isn t what you want. You can say it when she says it, but NEVER say it first.

4) Always go to new places: To maintain passion in a relationship, avoid falling into mindless routines. Don t go to the same caf every Saturday or spend your anniversary in the same hotel room every year. Change things up. Always think of new ideas for dates.

5) No gifts, flowers, candy etc, until three months have passed: No exceptions. No monthly gifts. Give her flowers if you think she s earned them. Always gift her on your anniversary, and her birthday. Always give flowers / candy / stuffed animal on Valentines day.

6) Don t follow regular phone routines: Don t talk to her every morning or every night. Don t talk to her on the phone for too long either. Try and keep it at 20 minutes max usually.

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7) Don t talk too much about yourself; let her find out more about you on her own: Main mystery. This doesn t mean you should wear a cloak or intentionally lead her to misunderstand you. Rather, it means you just shouldn t talk too much about yourself, or brag about your accomplishments.

8) Don t give her advice for her own problems: Never get involved in her girl drama. She ll love explaining every detail of it to you. Try and change the topic to a more positive one when you get the chance. If she needs someone to listen to her, then be there for her, but don t act as her shrink. And remember you re her boyfriend, not a flaccid shoulder to cry on. Listen to her, agree or disagree, but don t attempt to over-analyze her problems.

9) If she cheats, it s over: Never make an exception, it s a slippery slope.

10) Never show any signs of jealousy: Don t cry if she s flirting with other guys, go talk to other girls. If you think she s going overboard, then you can withdraw some attention or make a small comment about it, something witty, but that s ALL. Nothing more, and DON T lose your temper, get mad, or show any type of emotion. If she still keeps at it, give her the boot, don t waste your time with trash.

11) Stay Positive and happy: A must. Not just for your relationship, but for all aspects of your life. Let your happiness ooze out of you, it s one of the most attractive features of an Alpha Male. Happiness is contagious. Positive thoughts will manifest themselves in positive ways in your relationship.

12) Never lose control of your emotions: Don t lose your temper, throw things, or even talk above your regular voice. Nice guys are ruled by their emotions. Jerks don t have emotions. Alpha males have emotions, but are able to control them. Don t be void of any feeling, just recognize when you re acting impractical or letting your emotions get in the way of thinking clearly. Don t ACT on your emotion, use logic and reason to guide your actions. Don t let your head be clouded by feelings.

13) Never fully qualify her, and never reject her: Never let her think you love her unconditionally. This is in fact, impossible, and if you think you do, then you re way too dependent on her and need a moment for some desperate self-reflection. If you love her unconditionally, she WILL take you for granted. Never let her feel rejected because it ll damage her self-esteem, make her feel insecure, and create a myriad of other problems. Don t walk out on her and don t break up with her unless you actually want to break up with her. I e; don t do it as a cry for attention.

14) If her interest level takes a dip, back off: VERY important point. When a girl s interest level drops, which is almost inevitable throughout the course of a relationship, you cannot give heed to it. Most guys become clingier as their girlfriend tries to create space, causing her to want space even more and feeling suffocated. If she wants space, GIVE her space.

15) Don t get married unless you want to: Seems logical, until you think about it. A lot of people get married for the sake of getting married or simply because they think it s the natural course of things in an LTR. Just because you re with a girl for 5 years doesn t mean it s a good idea to marry her. Explore her flaws and figure out whether you guys will really work well together.

16) Don t get Oneitis- Don t become dependent on her. Always remember that there IS another girl out there who can make you happier and that you DON T need her.

17) Don t become too needy- Girls smell desperation the way sharks smell blood.

18) Always tease and flirt- keep things playful to build rapport and make her feel comfortable

19) Good Sex- You don t have to last as long as a Godfather marathon, but you should take the necessary steps required to keep her satisfied. (Learning more, trying new positions, new places, etc)

20) Mystery, Challenge, and Excitement can help maintain passion: Not much to say about this, just keep it in mind. Never try and build Mystery or challenge, just let it happen naturally. Mystery just means that your life is interesting, she wants to know more about it and you, but you aren t eager to reveal anything. It does NOT mean that you disappear every night at midnight wearing a cape and mask and return at 4 AM and refuse to tell her where you were. A certain amount of disclosure is necessary to build trust, but don t be over-eager to share your accomplishments, or your feelings.

21) NEVER cheat. ALWAYS break up with your girlfriend first if you think the temptation is to great.

22) Don t propose until 6 months have passed. No exceptions, and it doesn t matter how perfect she seems. You must unveil all her flaws, and then proceed with both audacity and reason.

23) Never let any of your decisions be based on Fear. Fear of loss or the fear that we re going to be cheated on often drives our concerns and actions. Be conscience of when your actions are being driven by your fears, it s a dangerous thing to be ruled by them and one of the defining characteristics of Men who have failed at life.

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Relationship Advice: Basic Rules For a Long Term Relationship

State of the health care system in Sierra Leone critical

State of the health care system in Sierra Leone critical
December 13th, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Saturday, December 5, 2009

According to Médecins Sans Frontières the health care system in Sierra Leone causes loss of life because the poor cannot afford medical treatment. The maternal death rate and the child mortality rate in Sierra Leone are the highest in the world. Experiences of Médecins Sans Frontières had shown that free care or low fees lead to a dramatic increase in the number of patients. Nonetheless the national health system of Sierra Leone demands payment for all treatment with simple consultations costing as much as 25 days of income. According to Action Against Hunger the number of children with acute malnutrition has reached almost twice the level of the WHO‘s emergency threshold of 2% in the Moyamba district of Sierra Leone.

The Los Angeles Times writes that Sierra Leone, in spite of decades of foreign aid, has not yet increased the standard of living of its people considerably and 60% of the public spending of Sierra Leone come from other governments and nonprofit organizations. Since 2002 the country received $1 billion in aid but the infant mortality rate is almost the highest in the world, lower than Angola but higher than Afghanistan. The newspaper further reports that the United Nations state that 1 in 8 Sierra Leonean women die giving birth, as compared to 1 in 4,800 in the United States and that life expectancy in Sierra Leone is merely 41 years while in Bangladesh life expectancy reaches 60 years.

The government of Sierra Leone had expressed its intend to abolish user fees for women and children with a new plan for a fairer health care system that was to be revealed on the Sierra Leone Investment and Donor Conference, which was held in London on November 18 and 19.

“The Sierra Leone government has publicly stated its commitment to abolish user fees, and the UK government and other donors have promised to help,” said Seco Gerard, advisor at Médecins Sans Frontières’s analysis and advocacy unit. “What is crucial now is that Sierra Leone actually receives the necessary funding and technical assistance to realise this objective. It is time that words are being followed up by concrete action. If not, people who could otherwise be saved will continue to die needlessly every day.”

The Telegraph reports that president Bai Koroma was also hoping to secure a significant increase in aid donations with his new health plan. While Germany declined to support president Bai Koroma’s “Agenda for Change” and urged to give more consideration to women’s welfare the country received support from the European Union, DFID, UNIPSIL, World Bank, IFAD and the African Development Bank. From the pledges of $850 million the government of Sierra Leone was hoping for only about $300 millions could be secured, with attached conditionalities concerning the use of funding.

In a presentation at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Freetown the Unicef representative for Sierra Leone, Mr. Mahimbo Mdoe, expressed gratitude about a pledge of about $1.3 million conveyed by the Ambassador of Japan to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Mr. Keiichi Katakami, and about earlier donations to UNICEF-Sierra Leone in the past years, amounting to over $20 million. The intended application of the funding is the goal to half child and maternal mortality by 2010, to introduce a social health insurance scheme, to improve equipment and to train health professionals.

Wikinews interviews Finnish ‘Rock ‘N’ Troll’ band Kivimetsän Druidi

Wikinews interviews Finnish ‘Rock ‘N’ Troll’ band Kivimetsän Druidi
December 13th, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kivimetsän Druidi? is a Finnish female-fronted band formed in 2002 whose music is a fusion of symphonic, fantasy and folk metal, which the band’s website dubs ‘Rock ‘N’ Troll’.

Brothers Joni and Antti Koskinen formed the band in Kouvola with Joni playing guitar and growling while Antti played keyboard and sings backing vocals. They joined up with a female lead vocalist, lead and bass guitarists and a drummer. The brothers write the songs between them, with Antti doing the main body and Joni writing the lyrics.

Together the band recorded and released three demos and an EP, all released independently, across 2002-6. Across October and November 2007 they gained international attention by supporting well-known Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani across a large European tour.

On June 6 this year Kivimetsän Druidi? was announced to have been signed to Century Media Records in a global deal. The band have now entered Noice Camp studio in Turku to record their debut, with a planned release date in October. This summer the only performances will be at a handful of festivals while the band works on their new album, but after that is released a major tour will follow to support it. The band say they are “extremely pleased” with the deal.

Wikinews was able to discuss these events and what the future holds for the band with the Koskinen brothers and female vocalist Leeni-Maria Hovila, who also writes the vocal melodies in an exclusive interview, which is published below for the first time.

Photoessay: The Idiotarod: When Good Shopping Carts Go Bad

Photoessay: The Idiotarod: When Good Shopping Carts Go Bad
December 12th, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Washington, D.C. — When you mix a shopping cart, six team members, bar hopping and bonus points for schmoozing bar hostesses and sabotaging your enemies, you get the annual Washington, D.C. Idiotarod race. On Saturday, this bizarre fund raising event, which originated in San Francisco 13 years ago, pitted teams of “sleds” together to race from bar to bar in Washington, D.C.’s fashionable Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan neighborhoods. Each “sled” consists of a “borrowed” shopping cart and six human dogs to pull the cart. Points are given for originality, the best time and best sabotage of another sled.

The race is held to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center and is organized by Ellen Shortill and Kristen Heatherly. Their organization, called “SMASHED” or “Society for Mature Adults Seeking to Help, Entertain and Donate”, takes the position that donating small amounts many times ultimately benefits the smaller charities. Said Shortill, “Our goal is simply to have fun and raise money for those charities that don’t really get any attention.”

The race this year consisted of 22 teams. Although team “Save NOLA” got to the last bar first, teams can win bonus points for (among other things) flirting with bar hosts and hostesses at any of the five bars along the route. The route is approximately 3 miles long, and each team is required to spend at least 20 minutes in each bar. Heatherly noted that “it doesn’t matter who got here first, ultimately its the team with the most credits and the best time that wins.”

Unique among the participants are brothers Pete and Chris Magnuson who are attempting to get on the 10th edition of Amazing Race on CBS. Their team called “Pick Pete and Chris” ran through the streets with t-shirts hawking their website and their fervent desire to be chosen for the next edition of the television show.

“Its not really about who wins, its that we get to have a blast and raise some money,” said Shortill. The charity event raised about $500 and various canned goods for the food pantry.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.