Great white sharks to be protected in New Zealand

Friday, December 1, 2006

The New Zealand conservation minister, Chris Carter, announced Thursday that it will be illegal in New Zealand to hunt great white sharks in New Zealand waters or in any waters with a boat carrying the New Zealand flag starting in April 2007. The decision is being hailed by conservation groups who claim the sharks would become extinct if hunting continued.

It will be illegal for a great white sharks, also known by the less common name white pointer sharks, to be hunted, possessed, killed or traded within 200 nautical miles of New Zealand according to The Wildlife Act. However if the shark was accidentally caught or killed then no prosecution will occur if they register the incident with authorities. And swimmers in Dunedin, New Zealand will also be protected by the use of shark nets.

The decision mainly comes because New Zealand signed the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.

Mr Carter said: “These majestic animals occur naturally in low numbers and, without protection, could be pushed to the brink of extinction. The Wildlife Act provides a strong deterrent against targeting great whites with a $250,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment as a maximum penalty.”

Kirstie Knowles, spokeswoman for Forest and Bird, said: “The sharks had been landed with an undeserved bad rap.”

Vaughan Hill wants Mr Carter to reconsider as he is the latest man in New Zealand who has survived a shark attack. Mr Hill wants the reconsideration because of fear of his children being attacked and not because he was once attacked. Mr Hill now only 35% control of one arm with the other been amputated and has scars on his back and front. Mr Hill was 23-years-old when the attack occurred 10 years ago while he was diving for p?ua, or Abalone, commercially 100 meters away from Pitt Island, “It was pretty murky water and I felt a big smack … I was looking into the eye and the jaw of the shark.”

“The last thing I thought was that I had to get another mouthful of air to fight it off, but blood overtook me.”

Mr Hill said that sharks should only be protected if they are in a “ring-fenced marine reserve.” He desribed the great white shark as “the ultimate killing machines [which] should be controlled. I want the beaches protected, and the workplace, which for divers is the sea.”

Dr Malcolm Francis, principal scientist of NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), said: “Despite the sharks’ fierce reputation they were mysterious to biologists. Great whites were known to travel huge distances but their breeding and life cycles were not as well documented.”

“They are incredible predators, but they are more vulnerable than us,” Dr Francis said, “Human attacks are more likely a case of mistaken identity. They let go when they realise we’re not their normal prey (fish and seals), but often the initial bite is devastating.”

Jim Anderton, minister of fisheries, said: “The white pointer shark was not known to be targeted by commercial fishing but was occasionally taken, unintentionally, as by-catch. They were sometimes targeted by recreational fishers and there was some demand for jaws and teeth as fishing trophies. Others were unintentionally caught in set nets.”

“No one wants to see an animal hunted to extinction for the sake of a jaw or a few teeth or to be placed under pressure by accidental catch. Under these new regulations no fisher will be able to profit from taking a white pointer, and any fisher inadvertently catching one will have to return it to the sea, intact, and alive, if possible.”

In New Zealand there have only been nine reported cases of shark attacks for 16-years.

United States: Two killed, more than a hundred injured in Amtrak train collision in South Carolina

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Early on Sunday morning, Amtrak’s passenger train number 91, the Silver Star, bound for Miami from New York, slammed into a stationary CSX freight train in Cayce, about ten miles (16 km) south of Columbia, capital of the US state of South Carolina. Two Amtrak employees were killed and at least 116 were injured, some seriously.

The two killed were 54-year-old engineer Michael Kempf of Savannah, Georgia, and 36-year-old conductor Michael Cella of Orange Park, Florida. Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told a press conference the passenger train had been diverted into a siding by a switch left “literally locked, with a padlock” in that position.

The collision happened at about 2:35 am local time (0735 UTC) at a switching yard in the small city of Cayce. The Amtrak train, with reportedly 139 passengers and eight employees aboard, collided head on with the freight train, which was parked with no one on board. The Amtrak locomotive and the leading locomotive on the freight train were destroyed; the Amtrak locomotive and some of its passenger cars derailed, and one of those cars was folded in half. Several freight cars were crumpled, Reuters reported. In a press conference, the state governor, Henry McMaster, said the Amtrak locomotive was “barely recognizable” and described it as “a horrible thing to see, to understand the force involved”.

Harrison Cahill, a spokesman for Lexington County, gave a count of 116 injured, up from an initial report of 70; according to Derrec Becker, public information officer for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, injuries ranged “from cuts and bruises to severe broken bones”. On Monday a Palmetto Health spokesperson said two patients were in serious and two in critical condition at their facilities. A spill of approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel from the freight train posed no safety hazard, according to officials.

Passenger Derek Pettaway told the CNN network that like most others, he had been sleeping when the collision happened. He said Amtrak staff cleared the passengers from the train rapidly, and there was no panic; “I think people were more in shock than anything else”, he said.

“Key to this investigation is learning why the switch was lined that way”, Sumwalt said. Amtrak’s CEO, Richard Anderson, speaking to reporters on Sunday, held CSX responsible; he stated the track in that area is operated by CSX and the signals, which CSX operates, were not working at the time of the collision and a CSX dispatcher was therefore directing the Amtrak train’s movements. Sumwalt noted an automatic monitoring and braking system called positive train control, which was not in use on the stretch of line, could have forestalled the collision.

Several fatal incidents involving Amtrak trains have occurred in the past three months. On December 18, the inaugural train on a new route in Washington state derailed at high speed while crossing above a highway, killing three; on January 31, the driver of a garbage truck was killed in Virginia when he collided with an Amtrak train chartered to take Republican lawmakers to a retreat.

Singapore announces driverless buses on public roads from 2022

Friday, November 24, 2017

On Wednesday, Singapore’s government announced its intention to have driverless buses operating on public roads from 2022. Driverless buses are to be first launched in three towns on less crowded roads made to be suitable for the purpose. The autonomous buses are to run during off-peak times, complementing human-driven bus services.

According to the joint announcement from the Land Transport Authority and Singapore’s Ministry of Transport, commuters will be able to use their mobile phones to hail a driverless shuttle. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan remarked, “The autonomous vehicles will greatly enhance the accessibility and connectivity of our public transport system, particularly for the elderly, families with young children and the less mobile.”

Along with the announcement, a two hectare (roughly five acre) test centre has been unveiled outside Nanyang Technological University, where self-driving vehicles are to be driven in simulated Singapore traffic. The test centre is also to be used for developers of self-driving vehicles to observe how they react to pedestrians, extreme weather, aggressive drivers, and various other road conditions. At the launch, Mr Khaw also said, “Our land transport constraints may help us become a global player in urban mobility solutions. What works here is likely to also work in other cities”. He noted driverless technology testing for Singapore was underway by at least 10 companies.

UK Wikinews Shorts: December 22, 2009

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, December 22, 2009.


Contents

  • 1 Man appears in court case involving murder of woman in Glasgow, Scotland
  • 2 Man jailed for murder of ex-girlfriend in Lancashire, England
  • 3 Two people killed in car crash in East Yorkshire, England
  • 4 Man dies after being found unconscious in garden in Western Isles, Scotland

Tips For Creating Your Own Home Spa}

Tips for creating your own home spa

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In today’s ever changing and busy lifestyle, when our daily lives are full of stress, one of the best way to unwind and relax is to create a relaxing spa environment in our own home.

What is a home spa? Simply, it can define as a spa resort in the comfort of your own house. No schedule, no entrance or club fees. You can go in and out whenever you want. Whether it is a daily, weekly or monthly indulgence, here are the tips for transforming your everyday bathroom into a relaxing and rejuvenating home spa. 1) The first thing you need to do is to clear and clean up your bathroom and bathtub. Make sure that you tub is clean and comfort so that you can relax during your spa treatment. 2) Soaking in a regular bathtub is nice; however, sinking into the gentle massage of a Jacuzzi tub will be perfect! Jacuzzi tub will gently soothe away your aches and pains with its deep massaging jets. If your existing tub is not a Jacuzzi tub, you may consider installing one of it if possible.3) It will be unpleasant to step out of the embrace of your warm bath or steam shower onto a frigidly cold floor. To perfect the luxury feeling, installing the electrical heating systems can give your bathroom with floor-to-ceiling warmth. 4) To create the sense of a spa, you must replace all your old and worn towels with big, fluffy new ones. Choose the new towels with attractive and relaxing colors. You will need at least two extra large towels, one for your body and one for your hair. It will be much better if you can include stylish towels warmers. Anyone who has spent time in an expensive spa knows the luxury of wrapping themselves in warm, soft, fluffy towels. By adding towels warmers to your home spa, you can duplicate this sensation in your own home.5) If you do not have one, you may consider investing in a stylish bathrobe and nice slippers. This is a one time expense that will make you feel pampered each time when you have your spa treatment.6) Water combined with light, aroma and sound, is a perfect relaxer. So depend on your preference such as relaxing or energizing then set the mood with music and lighting. Select a tranquil or energizing CD, based on the mood you wish to create. Trigger your home spa sensation with aromatherapy e.g. light some aromatherapy candles in a scent like lavender (for relaxation) or citrus (for rejuvenation). When you set the right mood, you will strengthen the effects of your spa treatments. 7) You can also buy a spa kit or make one yourself. Making a spa kit yourself not only fun but also relaxing since it will be time you spend pampering yourself. To start with, you can find a skin exfoliating lotion or cream and massage your body with it. You will feel relaxing, besides, it will also help to clear off the skin impurities. 8) Get your spa treatment ready. Fill the bathtub with water at the temperature you prefer then add bath salts and oil as well as scented bubbles or even rose petals if possible. For oil selection will depend on your preference, for example, if you want to relax, try lavender oil in your bath, with a rich, soothing and moisturizing mud mask. To energize, try peppermint oil in your bath with a cucumber mask. 9) To start your spa treatment, turn off all phones, TVs, and even the doorbell if possible. Turn off the overhead lights, light your preference candles and turn on the music. Then take off your robe and slip into your hot bath. While your facial mask is working, start with your exfoliating scrub or pumice and let yourself relax while you pay attention to all of the spa sensations. Sink into the experience and enjoy to what you smell, feel and hear. At the end of your home spa, rinse off the facial mask and dry off with your towels. Then take time to moisturize from head to toe. Creating a home spa is not complex; in fact, it can be simple and affordable. So you can simply unwind and enjoy precious moment at your own house whenever you like.

Cynthhia Kwee is a spa enthusiast and like to share her spa experience with others.

If you wish to learn more about spa, please visit : http://cynthiakwee.com/category/health-fitness/

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Tips for creating your own home spa}

Florida wins BCS National Championship Game over Oklahoma

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Florida Gators defeated the Oklahoma Sooners by a score of 24 to 14 last night’s FedEx BCS National Championship Game to win the Division I title of the National Collegiate Athletic Association‘s American college football league. Florida, ranked Number 1 in the nation, were led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow. “I promised the guys that I would go out and play with all my heart. I was so motivated tonight,” said Tebow. They were matched up against a Number 2 ranked Oklahoma team with a powerful offense, including this year’s Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Sam Bradford. The game took place at a sold-out Dolphin Stadium in Miami, as a stadium record 78,468 fans attended the match.

Both team’s defensed dominated each others’ offenses in the first half, forcing a 7 to 7 score when halftime came against a Florida offense that averaged 54 points a game and an Oklahoma offense that averaged 40 points. In total, both team’s defenses had 4 interceptions, 2 for Florida and 2 for Oklahoma. Florida’s defense stopped Oklahoma twice during a goal line stand, stopping them on a fourth-down rush once, and a forced interception out of the hands of Oklahoma wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias by Florida’s Ahmad Black.

On the offensive side of the ball, Florida was led by Tebow. Although throwing 2 interceptions, Tebow completed 18 put of 30 passes for 2 touchdowns, as well as rushed 22 times for over 100 yards. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford helped the Sooners offense through the air, completing 26 out of 41 passes for 256 yards and 2 passing touchdowns, but also throwing two interceptions. In the fourth quarter, Tebow completed a key 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver David Nelson, making the score 24 to 14 and putting the game out of reach for Oklahoma.

Some college fans believe that Florida did not rightly win the national championship, though. Fans of the Utah Utes believed that their undefeated team should have at least earned a spot in the game against Oklahoma or Florida’s one-loss teams. Fans of the USC Trojans and the Texas Longhorns also believed that the teams could have earned a spot in the game, due to their similar records. On the matter, Florida head coach Urban Meyer said “This is one of the best teams in college football history. Let someone else worry about all that. The Gators are No.1.”

On the game, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops commented “In the end, I’ll be glad to try again next year. If that’s the biggest burden I have to bear in my life, I’m a pretty lucky guy.” Tim Tebow, in a post-game interview, said “I was already motivated for a national championship game. But you know, there was some trash talking going on, and it just gets me going during the game.” In a losing effort, Sam Bradford commented “In the first half, we had opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of. In the second half, when we needed to make the plays, we just couldn’t do it.”

Interview: PRS, the UK’s music royalty collection society

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PRS for Music is the UK’s music royalty collection society tasked with working on behalf of copyright holders, specifically authors and music publishers. Founded in 1914, the PRS is a non-profit organisation with 350,000 UK businesses holding PRS licenses. The society works in conjunction with PPL which collects fees on behalf of the copyright holders of the actual recording.So, if a cover version of a song is played on UK radio, PRS collect a fee on behalf of the original writer and publisher, whilst PPL collect a fee on behalf of the record company of the cover. In a recent Wikinews interview, Paul Campbell, founder of Amazing Radio, an unsigned UK radio station, lambasted PRS for their “barmy standard contract” and their outdated equipment. That interview can be found here.

The music industry is changing and the way we use music is continually changing

Wikinews reporter Tristan Thomas interviews PRS, following up on Campbell and others’ criticism as well as finding out about future plans.

((Wikinews)) Firstly, thank you for the time in doing this interview.

((WN)) Last year, you were involved in a high profile dispute with YouTube. Can you briefly explain to our audience what that was all about and the final outcome of it?

((PRS)) PRS for Music was the first collecting society in the world to license the YouTube service, meaning if music videos were watched online then our members – who created them – would receive a small royalty payment. When we went to renew the licence that YouTube held we couldn’t agree as to how much should be paid and exactly what should be covered within it. We believed that music had become a much larger part of the YouTube service and that YouTube/Google should reflect the increased use of our members’ creative talent in the amount they paid.

The great thing is that we kept talking to YouTube throughout the dispute and managed to reach an agreement in September which meant that the videos could be accessed again by UK YouTube users and that our 65,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members would be paid.

((WN)) How many artists do you represent and how much did you collect during 2009 for them?

((PRS)) We represent 65,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. We haven’t released our 2009 figures yet but in 2008 we collected over £600m for them. The main sources of revenue come from recorded media (CDs, DVDs etc), international use, public performance use and use in television, radio and online.

((WN)) Paul Campbell in a recent interview with us said the following:“PRS has a barmy standard contract for using their members’ music online. It requires us to pay them a fixed percentage of ALL revenue from that website – whether or not the revenue is derived from their members’ work. So if we had 100,000 songs from non-PRS artists on amazingtunes.com, and one song from a PRS artist, we’d have to pay them a percentage of the revenue from ALL 100,000 songs. I.e., we’d have to take money out of the pockets out of non-PRS artists to pay to PRS. That would be immoral.”How do you respond to that?

((PRS)) Anyone using music in a commercial way – such as a radio station – is required to obtain the permission of those that created the music. This could be numerous writers, publishers and a record label for each song, possibly in different countries around the world. By obtaining a PRS for Music and PPL licence in the UK you are ensuring you have those permissions for over 10million musical works. Obviously much of the music used on radio comes from non-UK writers who may not be members of PRS for Music. Radio and television stations give us almost 100% accurate reports of their music use through their own playlists; this data then enables organisations such as ours to work out who should be paid and how much. PRS for Music has 144 agreements in place with similar societies around the world, resulting in us representing almost 2 million writers worldwide. If French, American, Spanish, Australian or any other writer’s music is used we will pay the respective societies so they can pay their members.

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Similarly a writer of musician may be ‘unsigned’ by that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t earn from their music when it is used by others. Many bands, writers and performers are currently unsigned but by being members of PRS for Music they ensure that they can begin earning vital royalties that allow them to continue with their musical career.

((WN)) How does the PRS ensure that artists outside the UK are properly compensated when their music is used within the UK, such as Thai or Chinese restaurants paying their PRS dues and exclusively using music which is from outside Europe?

((PRS)) As mentioned before PRS for Music has agreements in place in over 90 countries around the world to ensure that when music is used the right creators are rewarded. The system – built up over the last century – works both ways and when UK music is used internationally, PRS for Music receives royalties from foreign societies so we can pay our members. In 2008 £139.8m was collected from UK music use abroad, with the UK being one of only a few net exporters of music in the world.

((WN)) There have been a few cases in which PRS have been forced to apologise, exemplified by the threat of prosecution and a fine towards “singing granny” Sandra Burt, a shelf-stacker who sung to herself whilst stacking shelves. How has PRS moved forward from these incidents in order to ensure they do not happen again?

((PRS)) If we have made mistakes we will of course put our hands up and say so. For example when we were approached about the Sandra Burt case – by a journalist incidentally and not Sandra – we did give out slightly incorrect advice, although the questions were a little ambiguous. Once we realised our mistake we contacted Sandra to explain that she wouldn’t need a licence to sing to her customers and offered our sincere apologies. As an organisation we are very quick to admit where we get things wrong and ensure they are put right. We’re proud of our record with our customers and currently have 350,000 businesses choosing to use music in the UK.

Once we realised our mistake we contacted Sandra

To put the complaints in context we have only have 1 for approximately every 5,000 customer contacts we make. This is an exceptionally low ratio and there are many firms who would be envious of a record like this. During 2009 our complaints fell by 50% and we appointed an independent ombudsmen who could handle any complaints if they were not resolved internally. As of January 2010 no complaints have needed to be passed on to the ombudsmen.

((WN)) How does the PRS work with musicians who are not signed to major labels, may make music available for download via their own websites or MySpace, and do not have the financial resources to protect their copyright?

((PRS)) Many of the PRS for Music membership is not signed to a major record label and we represent creators from all genres of music in the UK and abroad. By joining PRS for Music, which only costs £10 deferred to your first royalty payment, you ensure you can begin earning royalties whenever your music is played, performed or reproduced. We have worked hard to license such sites as YouTube, MySpace, Spotify and Sky Songs to name a selection to ensure our members can be rewarded when their work is used.

Our membership team also work hard to support our creators holding showcase events, offering advice of how to get their music used as well as legal and financial advice.

((WN)) Finally, what future plans do you have as an organisation in order to further protect and enhance your members work as new technologies emerge over the next few years?

((PRS)) PRS for Music will continue to be at the forefront of licensing new digital and online services to ensure creators are paid. We aim to get the balance right to ensure new products and music services can launch and develop, but that also they pay for the music they use.

The music industry is changing and the way we use music is continually changing (it always has) but we’ll still be at the forefront enabling people to use music whenever they want, and rewarding those that have created that music.

((WN)) Thank you for taking the time out for this interview. Good luck for 2010.

UEFA Champions League 2007–08: Werder Bremen vs. Lazio

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

October 24, 200720:45 (UTC+1)
Werder Bremen 2–1 Lazio Weserstadion, Bremen Attendance: 36,587 Referee: Olegário Benquerença
Sonogo 28′ (2)Pasanen 30’Pasanen 46’Toši? 46’Almeida 54′ (2)Sanogo 64’Rosenberg 64’Borowski 73’Andreasen 73′ Match Report 21′ Pandev 51′ Meghni 51′ Del Nero 51′ Mutarelli 55′ Zauri 69′ Pandev 69′ Makinwa 82′ Rocchi 82′ Tare 82′ (1) Manfredini 90’+1′ Mudingayi

Werder Bremen beat Lazio at home to claim their 1st 3 points of this season’s UEFA Champions League. The win allows Werder Bremen to move ahead of Lazio in the standings with Werder Bremen now 3rd. The win also brings them 1 point behind Olympiacos.

Werder Bremen, who held the majority of the possession throughout the game, broke through in the 28th minute through Sonago. Almeida gave the Germans a two-goal cushion nine minutes into the second half. Clemens Fritz sent a long low cross to the Hugo Almeida, who then doubled the lead. Lazio managed to pull 1 back before the final whistle.

The 2 clubs match up again in 13 days from now with both teams needing to pick up points to have a shot for 2nd place in Group C.

Google’s YouTube to present its best video awards

Monday, March 19, 2007

This week Google’s on-line video sharing website YouTube launches its own awards ceremony. The site will present the best user-generated videos posted during 2006 in seven categories. The starting point is Monday and users will end voting on Friday. Winners will get their trophies on March 26.

The categories that YouTube is going to present include: most creative or inspirational video, best series, as well as music video or commentary and best comedy. The last category, number seven, is called “most adorable video ever” and it is to continue the tradition of videos starring cats and dogs while asleep.

Those that are nominated are able to promote themselves on YouTube during the following five days. These users are also able to plead for votes.

The $1.65 billion Google’s acquisition gathered a huge number of fans. According to Jamie Byrne, head of YouTube product marketing, 2006 was a pioneering year for sites that rely on user’s content.

However, companies like Viacom, believe one category is missing – “Best Professionally Produced Copyrighted Video.” Last week Viacom sued Google together with YouTube for more than $1 billion. The lawsuit states that the ever increasing popularity of YouTube is due to a massive uploads of copyrighted videos including “The Colbert Report” and “South Park“.

Claims from British quake may run into “low tens of millions of pounds” – Insurance association reps

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Representatives from the British insurance industry have said that the cost of the earthquake which hit Britain early yesterday could be over 10 million GBP. The Association of British Insurers has said in a statement that the cost for the earthquake is “likely to run into the low tens of millions of pounds.”

The Senior claims manager at the UK bank Norwich Union has described the damage by saying that at the moment most insurance claims regarding the earthquake describe “minor damage such as tiles off roofs, breakages inside the homes and brick walls collapsing.” It has also been reported that approximately 1,200 insurance claims were made in the first twelve hours after the earthquake hit Britain.

These reports come one day after the United Kingdom was hit by a 5.2 earthquake. Tremors were reported as widespread as Edinburgh, Manchester, Sheffield, Middlesbrough, Cambridge, London, Birmingham and Southampton .