Former Google employee says he was fired because of blog comments
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Former Google employee says he was fired because of blog comments

Saturday, February 12, 2005A former employee of Google, Inc. has said he was fired after he made a series of unfavorable comments about the company on a publically-viewable blog. Mark Jen, formerly a Microsoft employee, began work at the Mountain View, California company on January 18. He then went on to make several observations about the company over the following week. In particular, some of the comments included information on the company’s financial situation garnered from an internal conference and indications of the company’s new products for 2005.

Nine days later, apparently of his own volition, Jen removed the comments from his blog. However, on January 28, Google fired him, an act which Jen attributes to his blogging. Google has not commented on his dismissal to other news sources, but has acknowledged that Jen no longer works at the company.

In his blog, on February 11, 2005, Jen appeared positive about his future. “I’ve actually viewed this as a great learning experience. Obviously, I’ve gotten a first-hand chance to learn about the power of blogging. I’ve also learned to be a little more analytical about situations, a lot more cautious and a lot less assuming.”

John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years
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John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of the location of a viewpoint used by English painter John Constable has been solved, after nearly 200 years. The Stour Valley and Dedham Church was painted in Suffolk, England, between 1814 and 1815, but changes to the landscape meant that the spot he chose was not known, despite the best efforts of historians and art experts.

Now the puzzle has been answered. Martin Atkinson, who works for the National Trust as property manager for East Suffolk, used clues from the painting and looked at old maps to track down the viewpoint. Trees had grown, a hedgerow had been planted and boundaries had moved or disappeared, but Atkinson eventually worked out where Constable had stood. He said, “When I discovered that I had worked out the location where Constable painted this particular masterpiece, I couldn’t believe it. All the pieces of the jigsaw finally fitted together.”

Atkinson used an 1817 map of East Bergholt, where Constable grew up, as a reference point, but found that the view would have changed not long after the painting was completed. “The foreground didn’t fit at all, it was quite unusual as we know Constable painted it in the open air so he would have been standing in the scene. The hedgerow in his work no longer exists and there’s another hedgerow that runs across the scene today which wasn’t there. When you stand on the road on which he would have stood, and use the oak tree as a reference point, you see the same view. It’s great to see where an old master stood – and be inspired by the same view,” he said.

Suffolk, where Constable painted many of his finest paintings, is often called “Constable country”. Most, but not all, of the locations that Constable depicted are known. The picture is now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Wikinews interviews Australian Statistician Brian Pink
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Wikinews interviews Australian Statistician Brian Pink

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is responsible for some of Australia’s largest surveys, including the Census of Population and Housing, held every five years. At its head is the Australian Statistician. The current Statistician, Brian Pink, started in his position on March 5, 2007, following the retirement of predecessor Dennis Trewin. Wikinews recently caught up with Brian Pink to talk with him about his first year in the position, as well as his previous tenure as Government Statistician at Statistics New Zealand, and the state of mathematical education in Australia.

((WikiNews)) : Good afternoon.

Brian Pink: Good afternoon.

((WN)) : And congratulations on spending a year as Australian Statistician.

BP: Yes, it’s gone very quickly. (laughs)
Bat for Lashes plays the Bowery Ballroom: an Interview with Natasha Khan
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Bat for Lashes plays the Bowery Ballroom: an Interview with Natasha Khan

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bat for Lashes is the doppelgänger band ego of one of the leading millennial lights in British music, Natasha Khan. Caroline Weeks, Abi Fry and Lizzy Carey comprise the aurora borealis that backs this haunting, shimmering zither and glockenspiel peacock, and the only complaint coming from the audience at the Bowery Ballroom last Tuesday was that they could not camp out all night underneath these celestial bodies.

We live in the age of the lazy tendency to categorize the work of one artist against another, and Khan has had endless exultations as the next Björk and Kate Bush; Sixousie Sioux, Stevie Nicks, Sinead O’Connor, the list goes on until it is almost meaningless as comparison does little justice to the sound and vision of the band. “I think Bat For Lashes are beyond a trend or fashion band,” said Jefferson Hack, publisher of Dazed & Confused magazine. “[Khan] has an ancient power…she is in part shamanic.” She describes her aesthetic as “powerful women with a cosmic edge” as seen in Jane Birkin, Nico and Cleopatra. And these women are being heard. “I love the harpsichord and the sexual ghost voices and bowed saws,” said Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke of the track Horse and I. “This song seems to come from the world of Grimm’s fairytales.”

Bat’s debut album, Fur And Gold, was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, and they were seen as the dark horse favorite until it was announced Klaxons had won. Even Ladbrokes, the largest gambling company in the United Kingdom, had put their money on Bat for Lashes. “It was a surprise that Klaxons won,” said Khan, “but I think everyone up for the award is brilliant and would have deserved to win.”

Natasha recently spoke with David Shankbone about art, transvestism and drug use in the music business.


DS: Do you have any favorite books?

NK: [Laughs] I’m not the best about finishing books. What I usually do is I will get into a book for a period of time, and then I will dip into it and get the inspiration and transformation in my mind that I need, and then put it away and come back to it. But I have a select rotation of cool books, like Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and Little Birds by Anaïs Nin. Recently, Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch.

DS: Lynch just came out with a movie last year called Inland Empire. I interviewed John Vanderslice last night at the Bowery Ballroom and he raved about it!

NK: I haven’t seen it yet!

DS: Do you notice a difference between playing in front of British and American audiences?

NK: The U.S. audiences are much more full of expression and noises and jubilation. They are like, “Welcome to New York, Baby!” “You’re Awesome!” and stuff like that. Whereas in England they tend to be a lot more reserved. Well, the English are, but it is such a diverse culture you will get the Spanish and Italian gay guys at the front who are going crazy. I definitely think in America they are much more open and there is more excitement, which is really cool.

DS: How many instruments do you play and, please, include the glockenspiel in that number.

NK: [Laughs] I think the number is limitless, hopefully. I try my hand at anything I can contribute; I only just picked up the bass, really—

DS: –I have a great photo of you playing the bass.

NK: I don’t think I’m very good…

DS: You look cool with it!

NK: [Laughs] Fine. The glockenspiel…piano, mainly, and also the harp. Guitar, I like playing percussion and drumming. I usually speak with all my drummers so that I write my songs with them in mind, and we’ll have bass sounds, choir sounds, and then you can multi-task with all these orchestral sounds. Through the magic medium of technology I can play all kinds of sounds, double bass and stuff.

DS: Do you design your own clothes?

NK: All four of us girls love vintage shopping and charity shops. We don’t have a stylist who tells us what to wear, it’s all very much our own natural styles coming through. And for me, personally, I like to wear jewelery. On the night of the New York show that top I was wearing was made especially for me as a gift by these New York designers called Pepper + Pistol. And there’s also my boyfriend, who is an amazing musician—

DS: —that’s Will Lemon from Moon and Moon, right? There is such good buzz about them here in New York.

NK: Yes! They have an album coming out in February and it will fucking blow your mind! I think you would love it, it’s an incredible masterpiece. It’s really exciting, I’m hoping we can do a crazy double unfolding caravan show, the Bat for Lashes album and the new Moon and Moon album: that would be really theatrical and amazing! Will prints a lot of my T-shirts because he does amazing tapestries and silkscreen printing on clothes. When we play there’s a velvety kind of tapestry on the keyboard table that he made. So I wear a lot of his things, thrift store stuff, old bits of jewelry and antique pieces.

DS: You are often compared to Björk and Kate Bush; do those constant comparisons tend to bother you as an artist who is trying to define herself on her own terms?

NK: No, I mean, I guess that in the past it bothered me, but now I just feel really confident and sure that as time goes on my musical style and my writing is taking a pace of its own, and I think in time the music will speak for itself and people will see that I’m obviously doing something different. Those women are fantastic, strong, risk-taking artists—

DS: —as are you—

NK: —thank you, and that’s a great tradition to be part of, and when I look at artists like Björk and Kate Bush, I think of them as being like older sisters that have come before; they are kind of like an amazing support network that comes with me.

DS: I’d imagine it’s preferable to be considered the next Björk or Kate Bush instead of the next Britney.

NK: [Laughs] Totally! Exactly! I mean, could you imagine—oh, no I’m not going to try to offend anyone now! [Laughs] Let’s leave it there.

DS: Does music feed your artwork, or does you artwork feed your music more? Or is the relationship completely symbiotic?

NK: I think it’s pretty back-and-forth. I think when I have blocks in either of those area, I tend to emphasize the other. If I’m finding it really difficult to write something I know that I need to go investigate it in a more visual way, and I’ll start to gather images and take photographs and make notes and make collages and start looking to photographers and filmmakers to give me a more grounded sense of the place that I’m writing about, whether it’s in my imagination or in the characters. Whenever I’m writing music it’s a very visual place in my mind. It has a location full of characters and colors and landscapes, so those two things really compliment each other, and they help the other one to blossom and support the other. They are like brother and sister.

DS: When you are composing music, do you see notes and words as colors and images in your mind, and then you put those down on paper?

NK: Yes. When I’m writing songs, especially lately because I think the next album has a fairly strong concept behind it and I’m writing the songs, really imagining them, so I’m very immersed into the concept of the album and the story that is there through the album. It’s the same as when I’m playing live, I will imagine I see a forest of pine trees and sky all around me and the audience, and it really helps me. Or I’ll just imagine midnight blue and emerald green, those kind of Eighties colors, and they help me.

DS: Is it always pine trees that you see?

NK: Yes, pine trees and sky, I guess.

DS: What things in nature inspire you?

NK: I feel drained thematically if I’m in the city too long. I think that when I’m in nature—for example, I went to Big Sur last year on a road trip and just looking up and seeing dark shadows of trees and starry skies really gets me and makes me feel happy. I would sit right by the sea, and any time I have been a bit stuck I will go for a long walk along the ocean and it’s just really good to see vast horizons, I think, and epic, huge, all-encompassing visions of nature really humble you and give you a good sense of perspective and the fact that you are just a small particle of energy that is vibrating along with everything else. That really helps.

DS: Are there man-made things that inspire you?

NK: Things that are more cultural, like open air cinemas, old Peruvian flats and the Chelsea Hotel. Funny old drag queen karaoke bars…

DS: I photographed some of the famous drag queens here in New York. They are just such great creatures to photograph; they will do just about anything for the camera. I photographed a famous drag queen named Miss Understood who is the emcee at a drag queen restaurant here named Lucky Cheng’s. We were out in front of Lucky Cheng’s taking photographs and a bus was coming down First Avenue, and I said, “Go out and stop that bus!” and she did! It’s an amazing shot.

NK: Oh. My. God.

DS: If you go on her Wikipedia article it’s there.

NK: That’s so cool. I’m really getting into that whole psychedelic sixties and seventies Paris Is Burning and Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis. Things like The Cockettes. There seems to be a bit of a revolution coming through that kind of psychedelic drag queen theater.

DS: There are just so few areas left where there is natural edge and art that is not contrived. It’s taking a contrived thing like changing your gender, but in the backdrop of how that is still so socially unacceptable.

NK: Yeah, the theatrics and creativity that go into that really get me. I’m thinking about The Fisher King…do you know that drag queen in The Fisher King? There’s this really bad and amazing drag queen guy in it who is so vulnerable and sensitive. He sings these amazing songs but he has this really terrible drug problem, I think, or maybe it’s a drink problem. It’s so bordering on the line between fabulous and those people you see who are so in love with the idea of beauty and elevation and the glitz and the glamor of love and beauty, but then there’s this really dark, tragic side. It’s presented together in this confusing and bewildering way, and it always just gets to me. I find it really intriguing.

DS: How are you received in the Pakistani community?

NK: [Laughs] I have absolutely no idea! You should probably ask another question, because I have no idea. I don’t have contact with that side of my family anymore.

DS: When you see artists like Pete Doherty or Amy Winehouse out on these suicidal binges of drug use, what do you think as a musician? What do you get from what you see them go through in their personal lives and with their music?

NK: It’s difficult. The drugs thing was never important to me, it was the music and expression and the way he delivered his music, and I think there’s a strange kind of romantic delusion in the media, and the music media especially, where they are obsessed with people who have terrible drug problems. I think that’s always been the way, though, since Billie Holiday. The thing that I’m questioning now is that it seems now the celebrity angle means that the lifestyle takes over from the actual music. In the past people who had musical genius, unfortunately their personal lives came into play, but maybe that added a level of romance, which I think is pretty uncool, but, whatever. I think that as long as the lifestyle doesn’t precede the talent and the music, that’s okay, but it always feels uncomfortable for me when people’s music goes really far and if you took away the hysteria and propaganda of it, would the music still stand up? That’s my question. Just for me, I’m just glad I don’t do heavy drugs and I don’t have that kind of problem, thank God. I feel that’s a responsibility you have, to present that there’s a power in integrity and strength and in the lifestyle that comes from self-love and assuredness and positivity. I think there’s a real big place for that, but it doesn’t really get as much of that “Rock n’ Roll” play or whatever.

DS: Is it difficult to come to the United States to play considering all the wars we start?

NK: As an English person I feel equally as responsible for that kind of shit. I think it is a collective consciousness that allows violence and those kinds of things to continue, and I think that our governments should be ashamed of themselves. But at the same time, it’s a responsibility of all of our countries, no matter where you are in the world to promote a peaceful lifestyle and not to consciously allow these conflicts to continue. At the same time, I find it difficult to judge because I think that the world is full of shades of light and dark, from spectrums of pure light and pure darkness, and that’s the way human nature and nature itself has always been. It’s difficult, but it’s just a process, and it’s the big creature that’s the world; humankind is a big creature that is learning all the time. And we have to go through these processes of learning to see what is right.

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Turner Broadcasting apologizes for Boston scare
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Turner Broadcasting apologizes for Boston scare

Friday, February 2, 2007

An advertising campaign for shows on Adult Swim, a programming block on Cartoon Network, which is owned by Turner Broadcasting, gave local and federal law-enforcement a scare when devices were discovered on eight different bridges and roads.

The U.S. city of Boston was snarled in traffic jams January 31 as police investigated devices with flashing lights representing a cartoon character were placed around bridges and other areas throughout the city.

Different governmental agencies were brought in to help deal with the problem, which was later found to be no threat, as described by Boston Police Department spokesperson Eddy Chrispin. A bomb squad was deployed under supervision of the FBI, Boston police, the US Coast Guard, and different federal agencies.

The advertising campaign, for the widely popular program Aqua Teen Hunger Force, featuring characters from that series, was in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and many other major US cities.

Two people have been arrested for alleged participation in this incident.

Turner Broadcasting Systems hired New York marketing firm Interference Inc. which in turn hired individuals in the various cities to place the devices promoting the cartoon’s fifth season, scheduled for a February 23 premiere. Road and rail traffic was disrupted by police as they investigated and removed the devices.

The mostly flat devices resemble two-foot-square Lite-Brites with batteries attached to the bottom and visible wires.

G4TV has dubbed the incident “Aquagate” on its broadcast of Attack of the Show segment The Feed.

It is not known why the devices took police several weeks to notice, nor why the devices were believed to be dangerous.

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Hewlett-Packard to cut 9,000 jobs in $1 billion restructuring plan
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Hewlett-Packard to cut 9,000 jobs in $1 billion restructuring plan

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hewlett-Packard (HP) expects to lose 9,000 jobs between now and 2013 in a US$1 billion (£686m) restructuring plan.

The 9,000 jobs losses will be in the enterprise services division, but the company expects to add about 6,000 employees to its sales and delivery teams.

HP commented in a statement, “As a result of productivity gains and automation, HP expects to eliminate roughly 9,000 positions over a multi-year period to reinvest for further growth and to increase shareholder value”

HP will invest in fully automated data centers as it makes operational changes in its Internet technology services business. HP said the restructuring will generate savings of $500–700 million (about €407–571 million) in net savings after reinvestment.

Hewlett-Packard has around 300,000 employees and is the world’s largest technology company by sales. HP is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal
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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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Nominations announced for 78th Academy Awards
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Nominations announced for 78th Academy Awards

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Today, the nominees for the 78th Academy Awards were announced in Los Angeles, California.

Best Picture nominees this year are Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, Good Night, and Good Luck., and Munich. The director of each of these films received director nominations. Nominees include George Clooney (Good Night, and Good Luck.), Paul Haggis (Crash), Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain), Bennett Miller (Capote), and Steven Spielberg (Munich). This is the first time since 1981 that every Best Picture nominee also received a nod for Direction.

Brokeback Mountain leads this year’s Oscar pack overall, with eight nominations. Brokeback is followed by Crash, Good Night, and Good Luck., and Memoirs of a Geisha, who each earned six. Capote, Munich, and Walk the Line each received five nominations. King Kong, Pride and Prejudice, and The Constant Gardener picked up four nominations, while Cinderella Man, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and War of the Worlds pick up three. A History of Violence, Hustle & Flow, Mrs. Henderson Presents, North Country, Syriana, and Transamerica each received two nods each.

Best Animated Feature Film nominees are Howl’s Moving Castle, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. None of these films used primarily CGI-animation, the first year this can be claimed, since the 2001 creation of the award category. Corspe Bride marks both Tim Burton and Mike Johnson’s first nominations. Wallace & Gromit’s Steve Box is celebrating his first nomination, while co-producer Nick Park has three Oscars for Best Animation Short, a fourth nomination, of which he lost to himself in 1990. Hayao Miyazaki won the Best Animated Feature award in 2002, for Spirited Away.

Uniquely neither animation powerhouse, Disney or DreamWorks, is directly nominated in the category. Disney’s Buena Vista Entertainment distributes Miyazaki film Howl’s Moving Castle, while DreamWorks distributed Wallace and Gromit, animated by Aardman Animations.

Best Foreign Language Film nominees include Italian film Don’t Tell, France’s Joyeux Noël, Palestine’s Paradise Now, Germany’s Sophie Scholl – The Final Days, and South Africa’s Tsotsi. Italy has been up for an Oscar 27 times, France 34 times, and Germany has had six nominations. This is only South Africa’s second nomination, with the first coming last year, and Palestine’s first ever Academy Award nomination.

Nominees for Best Documentary Feature are Darwin’s Nightmare, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, March of the Penguins, Murderball, and Street Fight. March of the Penguins, produced in France, actually grossed more than any of the Best Picture nominees, the first time in history such an occurrence has happened.

The top 19 films in box office received a total of only 14 nominations, with a majority of these in the categories of Visual Effects, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.

Perhaps one of the most interesting stories for Hollywood as a whole, is the tremendous success of Participant Productions in its first year of operation. eBay founder Jeff Skoll‘s movie house produced nominees Good Night and Good Luck. (6), North Country (2), Syriana (2), and Murderball (1). The company aims to fund feature films and documentaries that promote social values while still being commercially viable.

The 78th Academy Awards presentation will be held on Sunday, March 5.

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman – Capote
  • Terrence Howard – Hustle & Flow
  • Heath Ledger – Brokeback Mountain
  • Joaquin Phoenix – Walk the Line
  • David Strathairn – Good Night, and Good Luck

  • George Clooney – Syriana
  • Matt Dillon – Crash
  • Paul Giamatti – Cinderella Man
  • Jake Gyllenhaal – Brokeback Mountain
  • William Hurt – A History of Violence

  • Judi Dench – Mrs. Henderson Presents
  • Felicity Huffman – Transamerica
  • Keira Knightley – Pride & Prejudice
  • Charlize Theron – North Country
  • Reese Witherspoon – Walk the Line

  • Amy Adams – Junebug
  • Catherine Keener – Capote
  • Frances McDormand – North Country
  • Rachel Weisz – The Constant Gardener
  • Michelle Williams – Brokeback Mountain

  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Capote
  • The Constant Gardener
  • A History of Violence
  • Munich

  • Crash
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Match Point
  • The Squid and the Whale
  • Syriana

  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • King Kong
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Pride & Prejudice

  • Batman Begins
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • The New World

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Mrs. Henderson Presents
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • Walk the Line

  • The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club
  • God Sleeps in Rwanda
  • The Mushroom Club
  • A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin

  • Cinderella Man
  • The Constant Gardener
  • Crash
  • Munich
  • Walk the Line

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Cinderella Man
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

  • Brokeback Mountain
  • The Constant Gardener
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Munich
  • Pride & Prejudice

  • In the Deep – Crash
  • It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp – Hustle & Flow
  • Travelin’ Thru – Transamerica

  • Badgered
  • The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation
  • The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
  • 9
  • One Man Band

  • Ausreisser (The Runaway)
  • Cashback
  • The Last Farm
  • Our Time is Up
  • Six Shooter

  • King Kong
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • War of the Worlds

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • King Kong
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Walk the Line
  • War of the Worlds

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • King Kong
  • War of the Worlds
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Romanian nuclear plant reports record-high production
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Romanian nuclear plant reports record-high production

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Romania‘s only nuclear plant, at Cernavod? announced yesterday that the amount of electrical energy produced at the plant in 2004 was the highest ever, at a record 5,142,300 megawatt-hours (MWh). This exceeded the previous 2002 record by 36,000 MWh.

Cernavod? Unit 1, brought into operation in 1992, supplies around 10-12% of Romania’s energy consumption. According to Nuclearelectrica, the operator of the plant, Cernavod?’s performance has been better than the average of the world’s 417 reactors. Nuclearelectrica considers the security of the plant, as well as of its employees and the environment, to be of utmost importance.

Currently, two more nuclear units are in construction at the Cernavod? plant. Unit 2 is 80% complete and will commence operation in 2006, while Unit 3 is approximately 40% complete. In the future, the nuclear plant is expected to produce a significant amount of the electrical energy of southeastern Europe.

Cernavod? is Europe’s only CANDU reactor. CANDU reactors, which are designed in Canada, are one of the most advantageous forms of nuclear reactors due to their fuel efficiency and low amount of down-time.

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House of Supreme Court Justice threatened
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House of Supreme Court Justice threatened

Monday, January 23, 2006

In the town of Weare, New Hampshire, a movement is under way to force Supreme Court Justice David Souter to sell his home for “public benefit,” an expansion of the eminent domain provision in the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution that the Supreme Court legalized in the controversial 5–4 decision in Kelo v. New London where Souter was on the majority side. In the June 2005 decision this majority ruled that “public use” included “public benefit,” stating that a local council could use the Fifth Amendment to compulsorily acquire private property for the express purpose of selling it to other private parties whose use was expected to yield increased tax revenues. The decision left many worried that homes would be seized for commercial enterprises or that the decision could be used as a means to remove minority property owners deemed inconvenient.

The campaign to have Souter’s house removed is headed by Logan Clements, who is petitioning to replace it with the Lost Liberty Hotel, a tongue-in-cheek name for what he says will be a memorial to lost freedom. Clements already has 188 signatures to put the issue on a ballot, and only 25 are needed. Once it is on the ballot, the measure can be approved as soon as March. Weare has 8,500 residents.

So far, neither Justice Souter nor Kathy Arberg, Supreme Court spokeswoman, have commented on the matter.

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