England fans watch match in cinema
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England fans watch match in cinema

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

London – A few hundred England fans weren’t watching the 2006 FIFA World Cup match against Sweden last night in a pub or at home, but instead had ventured out to their local cinema to see the game on the big screen. A number of Odeon cinemas nationwide have been using digital projection technology to screen the matches live with a high definition (HD) picture. HD broadcasts contain a greater level of detail than traditional TV broadcasts, meaning a sharper picture and better sound quality.

In the darkened auditorium of the cinema in Covent Garden, the audience (or should that be crowd?) were behaving almost as if they were at the stadium, singing along to the national anthem, cheering at the England goals and groaning at the Sweden chances. At times, chants being sung by the England crowd at the match were even picked up and sung along to by those watching the cinema screen like some kind of football karaoke contest.

Trailers before the match were replaced by a soundtrack of England anthems, both the successful and not-so-successful ones, and the traditional movie treat of popcorn was replaced by trays of beer (in plastic cups) being brought in by the punters. The cinema had cheekily listed the screening as being ‘directed by Sven-Göran Eriksson’ and as ‘starring Wayne Rooney (hopefully)’.

Despite a disappointing 2-2 draw, the audience seemed impressed with the experience. “I’m a bit short and so wanted to make sure I had good view without having to jostle around for position,” Amanda, from London, explained to me. “I also liked that it was non-smoking, and there was a fabulous atmosphere”. Sian, Caio and Laura, who lived locally, said they wanted to see the match on the big screen and commented on the excellent picture quality.

Other events that have been broadcast by the cinema chain include concerts by Robbie Williams and Elton John. Odeon Marketing Director Luke Vetere said “offering films is just one part of the cinema experience – our ambition is to offer guests the chance to watch other events they feel passionate about”. Watching football in the cinema is not a brand new event though, during previous World Cups such as in 1966, film footage from the matches was broadcast in cinemas after the event, providing a way for people to see the games in colour when TV broadcasts were in black and white.

Cinema screenings aren’t the only way that fans can watch the World Cup games in high-definition this year though, as both Sky TV and Telewest have been broadcasting the games in HD to viewers with a special set-top box. There have been trials with HD on the growing Freeview platform too, with a pilot group of a few hundred viewers in London. However, as any move to roll out HD on Freeview would use up extra space on the broadcast spectrum and would require viewers to buy a new set-top box, it seems unlikely that this will happen any time soon.

Global markets plunge
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Global markets plunge

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stock markets across the world have fallen sharply with several seeing the biggest drop in their history.

Asian markets saw the biggest sell-off. The Nikkei dropped 9.62% to reach a 20 year low. Japan also saw a collapse of a mid-size insurance company, Yamato Life Insurance Company, which declared bankruptcy. The Hang Seng, which was one of the few markets that was positive yesterday, fell 7.19%. Australia dropped by 8.4% and South Korea saw a 9% fall.

In Europe, markets dropped at the open with the FTSE losing 11%. They have recovered only sightly with all European markets losing more than 5%. The European sell off was more about the Asian lows then any specific news. European banks and financial institutes saw the most selling. Also, oil related companies saw large drops as an result of an expected decrease in oil consumption.

The U.S. markets opened lower with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling below 8,000, before recovering slightly. President George W. Bush made an address on the economy and said markets were being “driven by uncertainty and fear.”

Oil has seen losses of more than US$6 in trading with the current price of a barrel of oil less than $80. This is a year low for oil. News also came out that OPEC will hold an emergency meeting on November 18 to discuss the falling price of oil.

Charities, such as Cats Protection, today said that they have lost much of their funds in collapsing banks. Cats Protection had a total of £11.2 million saved in the now-collapsed Kaupthing bank.

The British National Council for Voluntary Organisations said that 60 of its 6,500 have lost money due to the collapse of banks.

Contents

  • 1 Stock markets
    • 1.1 Dow Jones Industrial Average
    • 1.2 FTSE 100
    • 1.3 Nikkei 225
  • 2 International reaction
    • 2.1 George W. Bush
    • 2.2 Gordon Brown
    • 2.3 Jim Flaherty
  • 3 Market data
  • 4 Sources

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to its lowest level in five years at 8,579.19, falling 679 points in one day. This, at 7.3%, is the eleventh largest percentage fall in the history of the index. The growth then continued, with the index being up over 150 points on the start of the day at one point.

The index, did however, recover, and as of 19:30 UTC was up 17.68 points, or 0.21%, pushing the index up to almost 8600.

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners, commented on these massive falls. “What we’ve seen here was one big margin call that just kept feeding on itself, so the opposite could happen. But you need a catalyst,” he said. “I’m more convinced now than ever that this market has made a bottom. The capitulation came when we breached 8,000,” he continued. “It doesn’t mean we can’t go back and revisit that level.”

The UK’s FTSE 100 index fell dramatically to close below 4000, in the index’s worst week in history. This is despite the fact that just a few days ago the index was above 5000, and the index peaked above 5500 in September.The FTSE 100 index has fallen by 41% this year.

Barclays Wealth analyst Henk Potts commented on this massive fall. “We are drowning in a sea of red numbers,” he claimed. “Investors are concerned about the exacerbation of the credit crunch and the gloomy forecasts for economic growth. The reality is that most investors have been spooked by the sheer pressure that the credit crunch is putting on the global economy.”

The Japanese Nikkei 225 has recorded it’s third biggest drop in history with a massive sell-off in the exchange that has resulted in USD 250 billion being knocked of the index’s value.

Toyota, which is the second largest carmaker in the world, fell by the largest amount in 21 years, while Elpida Memory, the world’s largest manufacturer of computer memory, dropped in value to a record low.

Masafumi Oshiden, a fund manager in Toyota commented on the drop.”It’s capitulation,” he said. “There are lots of forced sellers. If you’re a fund that’s going bust you need to close out all your positions.”

George W. Bush commented on the financial situation earlier today. “Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market — much of it driven by uncertainty and fear,” he said. “This has been a deeply unsettling period for the American people. Many of our citizens have serious concerns about their retirement accounts, their investments, and their economic well-being.”

Bush then continued by promoting the government’s plan’s to get through the crises. “Here’s what the American people need to know: that the United States government is acting; we will continue to act to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets. We are a prosperous nation with immense resources and a wide range of tools at our disposal. We’re using these tools aggressively.”

Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister, also spoke on the economy. “I think we quickly realised that we cannot solve the problems we have got as a result of the sub-prime market collapse simply by improving liquidity,” he said speaking in Birmingham to business leaders earlier today. “That would simply not be enough to deal with the bigger problem of rebuilding the banking system for the future and restoring trust is a fundamental element of that.”

Jim Flaherty, the Canadian minister for finance, also commented today on the recent incidents in the economy. “It is important to underline that Canada’s banks and other financial institutions are sound, well capitalized and less leveraged than their international peers,” he claimed. “Our mortgage system is sound. Canadian households have smaller mortgages relative both to the value of their homes and to their disposable incomes than in the U.S.”

“”However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the continuing disruption of global credit markets, which has been severe and protracted, is making it difficult for our financial institutions to raise long-term funding. This is beginning to affect the availability of mortgage loans and other types of credit in Canada,” he continued. “The Government has therefore decided to act to address the current scarcity of private sector lending to Canadian mortgage markets and lending markets overall. This is going to make loans and mortgages more available and more affordable for ordinary Canadians and businesses.”

20:15, 10 October, 2008 (UTC)
  • DJIA
  • 8.451,19 128,00 1,49%
  • Nasdaq
  • 1.649,51 4,39 0.27%
  • S&P 500
  • 899,22 10,70 1,18%
  • S&P TSX
  • 9.264,57 335,61 3.50%
  • IPC
  • 19.952,30 357,87 1,76%
  • Merval
  • 1.215,990 71.340 5,54%
  • Bovespa
  • 35.615,26 1,474.03 3,97%
  • FTSE 100
  • 3.932,06 381,74 8,85%
  • DAX
  • 4.544,31 342,69 7,01%
  • CAC 40
  • 3.176,49 266,21 7,73%
  • SMI
  • 5.347,22 451,62 7,79%
  • AEX
  • 258,05 23,92 8,48%
  • BEL20
  • 2.123,44 117,44 5,24%
  • MIBTel
  • 15.438,00 1,081,00 6,54%
  • IBEX 35
  • 8.997,70 905,20 9,14%
  • All Ordinaries
  • 3.939,50 351,80 8,20%
  • Nikkei
  • 8.276,43 881,06 9,62%
  • Hang Seng
  • 14.796,90 1,146,37 7,19%
  • SSE Composite
  • 2.000,57 74,01 3,57%

    Category:August 5, 2010
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    Lancet cancer study a hoax
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    Lancet cancer study a hoax

    Friday, January 20, 2006

    In Norway, the Oslo and Akershus County Medical Officer has announced that it is launching an inquiry into a possible scientific hoax, involving cancer researchers from Norway, the U.S. and Finland.

    In October 2005, the Norwegian researcher Jon Sudbø along with 13 co-authors published the study in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet. The study claimed to detect a positive effect of ibuprofen in preventing oral cancer in smokers, based on a controlled case-study, entailing several hundred patients. On the basis of this study, a broader prospective multicenter study was to be started in 2006, partly funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

    On January 17th 2006 however, the Radium Hospital in Oslo, Norway announced that there were strong suggestions that the whole study was a hoax. The patient material presented appeared to be invented, and thus the whole study seems to be fraudulent.

    The Radium Hospital in Oslo has hired an autonomous investigative committee to look into the matter, led by the Swedish epidemiologist Anders Ekbom from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. The editor of the Lancet, Richard Horton, said that this was the worst research fraud he has dealt with in his time at The Lancet.

    Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire
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    Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire

    Friday, March 20, 2009

    Following the Pilkhana massacre which occurred February 25 and 26 leaving 74 dead and the inferno at the Bashundhara City shopping mall complex March 13 leaving seven dead, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said security measures are being tightened countrywide across Bangladesh.

    Fire drills will be enacted at all key-point installations (KPI). Fire fighting systems will be examined by the fire brigade and the public works department (PWD) to ensure functionality. Security measures will be enhanced supplementing areas under private security such as at the Bashundhara City Complex.

    The Fire Service and Civil Defence Department requires modernization and needs new equipment to fight fires past the sixth floor of buildings. The Fire Brigade says it needs turntable ladders, snorkels, foam-tenders, lighting units, emergency tenders, fireproof uniforms, and rescue ropes for fire fighting and rescue operations. Transportation to fires is also an issue due to narrow roads, low electrical wires and congestion.

    The Bangladesh National Building Code requires fire fighting equipment installed in buildings over seven floors. This code is to be monitored by authorities to ensure compliance with the new guidelines and to make sure buildings are being maintained.

    The Bashundhara City Complex opened Monday for shoppers two days after Friday’s blaze. A probe is underway to determine the cause of the fire and to assess structural damage.

    Loss of life was minimized as the blaze broke out on a Friday, the beginning of the weekend in Bangladesh, so offices in the upper floors were empty. The lower eight floors are used for shopping and the upper floors are all Bashundhara Group offices.

    The mall is valued at Tk 7.0 billion (US$100 million). It is not known if the complex is covered by fire insurance.

    It is estimated that it will take over two years to rebuild the area damaged by flames which were burned down to a skeleton. Bashundhara City’s technical advisor, Latifur Rahman, estimated damages at Tk 2.0 billion (US$29m).

    Only one television cameraman has been allowed in to film the burnt area. None of the 2,500 shops, cinemas or cafes were burnt by the inferno. The seventh and eighth floors still experience smoke damage, and there was water damage to merchandise.

    A three member committee is currently investigating the cause of the fire which will consist of Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary of the ministry, representatives of the police, IGP Noor Muhammad, and fire brigade, Director General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah. The committee is required to report within the week with their findings. The forensics department is also sifting through the burnt remains.

    The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries has also formed a committee which has begun interviewing witnesses and recording their testimony alongside the government committee.

    It has been discovered that 150 closed circuit cameras were not being used when the fire started. Another mystery is why the mall fire fighting system has been found unused.

    Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think….These matters seem to be mysterious

    “In the shopping mall there is an ultra-technology elevator which runs even without electricity but we have found that locked,” Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary (Police) of the home ministry, said. “Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think. We have to see if there was any incendiary substance there. These matters seem to be mysterious.”

    Mall management has been asked to submit substances and items which would have been in the upper floors when the fire started. The fire erupted on the 17th floor and spread quickly to the two floors above and engulfed the three floors below. The aerial ladders belonging to the Fire Service and Civil Defence reached as high as the 13th floor of the 21-storey building.

    Videos have been sent to the United States (US) for examination to assist in determining the cause of the fire and to help in the damage assessment. Experts from the US are expected to arrive soon.

    Firefighters were brought to the rooftop of the 20-storey tower by helicopter. The only fatality in this operation was Baki Billa, a firefighter of Bashundhara City firefighting department, who fell when climbing down a rope from a helicopter to the roof of the building. Three other firefighters made the transition safely. At this same time, the chief security officer was safely rescued by the Bangladesh Air Force helicopter, a Bell 212. Six security officers of the complex also lost their lives.

    Fifteen killed by US drone strikes in Northern Waziristan
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    Fifteen killed by US drone strikes in Northern Waziristan

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Pakistani officials have stated that three US drone strikes have killed fifteen people in the country Saturday. The attacks occurred to the north of Miranshah town in the North Waziristan region.

    Security officials in the town informed AFP that in the first strike, US drones fired four missiles on a car, killing seven suspected militants. A nearby “militant compound” was also destroyed by the missiles. “Three militants were killed in the car while four were killed in the house,” the official said. The second attack occurred within minutes of the first, and four militants, who were carrying on rescue work were killed by the two missiles that had been fired.

    Intelligence officials believe that the militants were associated with Hafiz Gul Bahadur. “We are trying to establish identity of the militants but most of them are believed to be fighters of Hafiz Gul Bahadur,” an official told the media. However, the death toll and the identity of those killed was not officially confirmed. A local official stated that they had heard reports stating “that four foreigners were also killed in these fresh attacks”. However, he added that their identity is “still not known” and mentioned that they “are collecting more information.”

    Police discover five bodies in Victoria, Canada home
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    Police discover five bodies in Victoria, Canada home

    Tuesday, September 4, 2007

    Police in Oak Bay, British Columbia, a suburb of the provincial capital Victoria, report that five bodies were found in a home after having been summoned there on a 911 emergency call.

    The 911 call came in at approximately 3 a.m. local time, but police were not able to enter the home until 9 a.m. as they believed “there was a barricaded suspect in the home and information possibly that there may be a firearm associated [with] the home.” Police later revealed that no gunshots were involved in the crime.

    Five bodies have been discovered: a six-year-old child and four adults. Saanich Police stated that one of the dead may have been responsible for the deaths. “At this stage we’re not looking for anyone outside the home,” said Sgt. John Price, Saanich Police. In a press release Tuesday, Saanich Police stated they believe that the crime “was not a random attack and that the suspect and the victims were known to each other.”

    Rose Stanton, Regional Coroner for the Vancouver Island area, indicated that other crime scene investigators, including blood spatter experts, had been summoned. Stanton also said that the bodies would not be removed from the house until sometime on Wednesday. Commenting on the question of why blood spatter experts have been called in, Stanton told reporters, “Use your imagination…it’s bad, for 30 years of doing this, it’s bad.”

    There was some indication that an accelerant was found at the crime scene. “There may have been an attempt to set fire to the residence,” said Regional Coroner Stanton. “There was some flammable material involved.”

    Neighbours in Oak Bay say that the family that lived in the home consisted of a couple in their thirties, two young children, and a mother-in-law who recently arrived from Korea.

    Gorillaz Nominated for 5 Grammy Awards
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    Gorillaz Nominated for 5 Grammy Awards

    Monday, December 12, 2005

    The smash hit “Demon Days” from cartoon concept band Gorillaz has been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards:

    The other nominations for Record of the Year are “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” by Green Day, “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani, and “Gold Digger” by Kanye West.

    Scientology protest group celebrates founder’s birthday worldwide
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    Scientology protest group celebrates founder’s birthday worldwide

     Correction — March 19, 2008 The next protest is scheduled for April 12, 2008. The article below states April 18 which is incorrect. 

    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    The Internet group Anonymous today held further protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

    The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

    In a global speech, the Internet protest movement said Scientology “betrayed the trust of its members, [had] taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives.” The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed “an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses.” The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

    In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of “hate speech and hate crimes”, alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to “identify members” of the group it brands as “cyber-terrorists”.

    Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the events.

    Anonymous states that the next protest is scheduled to take place on April 18, which happens to be the birthday of Suri, the daughter of Tom and Katie Cruise.

    Contents

    • 1 Location reports
      • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
      • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
      • 1.3 Austin, Texas
      • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
      • 1.5 Brussels, Belgium
      • 1.6 London, England
      • 1.7 Manchester, England
      • 1.8 New York, New York
      • 1.9 Buffalo, New York
      • 1.10 Seattle, Washington
      • 1.11 Sydney, Australia
      • 1.12 Portland, Oregon
    • 2 Related news
    • 3 Sources

    Canada posts record $14 billion budget surplus
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    Canada posts record $14 billion budget surplus

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Canada has a budget surplus of CA$13.8 billion for the 2006–2007 fiscal year, totaling 1% of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced today. The record surplus was boosted by revenue from government corporations to $14.2 billion, far exceeding the government’s projections of $9.2 billion and surpassing the record set by the previous year’s $13.2 billion surplus.

    By federal law, all surplus must be used to pay down Canada’s debt, and is not available for spending. $90 billion in debt payments over the last ten years have reduced its debt to $467 billion or 32.3% of national GDP, its lowest level in a quarter century. The announced debt payment is the largest in Canadian history.

    The payment also reduced Canada’s annual interest payments by $725 million, which the government pledged to pass on to taxpayers through tax returns and reduced income taxes. The Conservative’s “Tax Back Guarantee”, proposed in the March budget, promises that money saved on interest payments will be deducted from Canadians’ taxes. The Globe and Mail predicts the tax returns will be 30–40 dollars per taxpayer.

    Canada has posted ten consecutive budget surpluses in the last decade. The Canadian economy, the 8th largest in the world, has benefited from rising global demand for its export commodities, particularly oil and copper, as well as record corporate profits. This surplus was further increased by a $700 million drop from expected government spending.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper cautioned that the Canadian economy is still facing “tough times” in its forestry, manufacturing, and some export industries. Critics point out that the Conservative government had said Canadians were overtaxed when they took office, and had vowed to eliminate “surplus surprises”.

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