‘Crown Fire’ forces residents in Southern California to evacuate homes
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‘Crown Fire’ forces residents in Southern California to evacuate homes

Friday, July 30, 2010

Antelope Valley, California — A huge wildfire that has been burning in the High Desert of Southern California since 2:00 pm (2200 UTC) yesterday continues to threaten residents in the city of Palmdale in the Antelope Valley region of the Los Angeles County this afternoon. Mandatory evacuation orders have been set in place, affecting 2,000 homes.

The fire is one of three that ignited yesterday in the Mojave Desert and San Gabriel Mountains. The first was a 30-acre fire that began to the west of Lancaster in the Fairmont area. It was contained and suppressed by mid-afternoon, but the other two fires ignited while firefighters were battling the first. The second fire, the “Briggs Fire”, began shortly after 2:00 pm near 8334 Soledad Canyon Road and Briggs Road, south of the freeway. It burned 500 acres south of the 14 Freeway, but the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD) now has it contained, and firefighters are hopeful that it will burn itself out as it edges closer to the 160,577-acre burn area of last year’s Station Fire. The third fire, the “Crown Fire”, broke out at around the same time as the Briggs Fire on the northern side of the 14 Freeway near Acton. The Crown fire has so far burned 13,000 acres and has been heading north into Leona Valley and Palmdale.

Over 800 firefighters are now tackling the Crown Fire on the ground, Boeing 747 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 fixed-wing aircraft have taken to the skies to drop Phos-Chek slurry (a red powdery fire retardant that is a mixture of mostly water and fertilizer, and doesn’t evaporate) on the fire, and modified Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters known as “Firehawks” are making water-drops. As well as LACFD, firefighters from Los Angeles City Fire Department, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) are also helping to battle the fire. Weather conditions and topography have hindered their efforts, as temperatures rose to 98 degrees Fahrenheit today, with windspeeds of 25mph. Tonight, the National Weather Service predicts winds will reach as high as 50mph.

The fire burned down a Los Angeles County Sheriff Department communications tower, forcing Lancaster and Palmdale-based deputies to set up mobile operations bases and coordinate their efforts using cell phones and computers. Last night, the California Aqueduct acted as a barrier to the fire.

Residents of Leona Valley, Lake Elizabeth, Ritter Ranch, Rancho Vista, Ana Verde and Palmdale received Reverse 911 telephone calls last night alerting them of mandatory evacuations. Many of the evacuation orders were lifted this morning as the spread of the fire decreased. However, as winds picked up in the afternoon, fire embers were carried across the aqueduct and the fire is now heading towards a highly-populated area of Palmdale. Residents who were allowed back into their homes were re-evacuated to Red Cross shelters set up in local schools and parks.The fire is also threatening five high-voltage power lines that supply electricity to much of Southern California. 21 customers in the immediate vicinity have been without power since yesterday.

At 5:00 pm, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, police and fire officials held a press conference. The governor said that the fire was 20% contained and had burned 13,000 acres. It is thought that the fire began when workers in Agua Dulce caused sparks by hammering the bolts when they were removing a tire from a rim.

British pop star Leona Lewis breaks US Billboard records
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British pop star Leona Lewis breaks US Billboard records

Saturday, March 29, 2008

British pop star Leona Lewis has broken Billboard records in the United States to become the first female British pop star to reach a number one spot on the music charts in over 20 years and became the third solo British artist ever to reach the top charts.

Lewis made the number one spot with her new hit single Bleeding Love. According to Billboard.com her single ranks number one in the top 100, the pop 100 and hottest digital songs.

“I’m so excited to be able to spend some time in the US and showcase my music to everyone here. Its been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I can’t wait,” said Lewis on her website.

The last female singer from the UK to top the charts in the U.S. was Kim Wilde in 1987 when she did her own version of The Supremes ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On.’

Lewis took the UK by storm when she won The X Factor (UK) in 2006 and became the biggest selling female artist of all time in the UK.

Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive
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Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

New Italian government proposes withdrawal of troops from Iraq
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New Italian government proposes withdrawal of troops from Iraq

Thursday, May 18, 2006

In his first speech since being sworn in as the country’s leader, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi says the US-led invasion of Iraq had been a mistake. He says his new government will propose the withdrawal of Italy’s 3000 troops from Iraq.

“We consider the war in Iraq and the occupation of the country a grave error,” Mr Prodi told Italian Parliament this week. “It has not resolved, but complicated the situation of security. It is the intention of this government to propose to Parliament the return of our troops from Iraq.” His speech resulted in jeers from Italy’s centre right parties.

Mr Prodi said his government intends to continue “good relations” with Washington. He did not give a date for a withdrawal, saying a “technical timeframe” would have to be agreed with all sides involved. Italy’s centre-left parties opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq three years ago.

Mr Prodi said his government will remain on the front lines in the war against terror and would participate in anti-terror operations if they were sanctioned by international organizations, such as the United Nations. “We are convinced participants in the war against terrorism, even militarily, when it is legitimized by an international organization to which we belong.” he said.

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was defeated in a tight election to Prodi’s centre-left bloc in April this year. As opposition leader, Prodi has always opposed the war in Iraq. Berlusconi sent 3,000 troops to Iraq in 2003. The move was widely opposed by the Italian public.

Although troops were already expected to return home by the end of 2006, Prodi did not give an exact timeframe for the withdrawal. He said it would only happen in consultation with Iraqi authorities.

Questions About Ocr Scanning Software

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By Robert Corter

Company documentation was a challenge without OCR Scanning Software. Before, companies need to file up millions of documents in several cabinets. Their offices were filled with rusting metal file cabinets which were filled with different files. Companies need to hire additional labor just to check the files. Once the documents are not needed anymore they are sent to the trash can. Hence, companies also create a lot of wastes and garbage. Today, with the use of OCR software such problems are a thing of the past. Companies can simply organize their files through the use of their computer. They can easily send and retrieve their files through the use of software called an OCR program. With the use of the program, companies will be able to remove their rusted cabinets and increase workflow output.

What is OCR Scanning Software?

A scanning software program is a type of application which is designed to maximize workflow by simply organizing files. Such programs are designed to save millions of cash from companies because they maximize work and minimize effort. Companies no longer need to hire organizers since they can just scan and place their files on a computer. They will also be able to save a lot of space since all of the documents can be placed in just one PC.

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OCR programs are designed for both organization and sending. Documents found inside the software can also be sent through fax and through email. Yes, the program actually has e-mail and fax compatibility. Users can also print out their records through the use of the output tool. Since computers can be connected through a network, several files and documents such as memorandums can be sent through other computers with the use of the program. Hence, there will no longer be a need for a courier or a mail sender. There are several other benefits when using such a program.

What are its benefits?

Using OCR Software has a lot of benefits. One of which is that companies will be able to save millions of money by simply using such programs. They will be able to save a lot of time too since they can just click the files that they needed and it will show up on the computer. OCR programs are designed to show files that are in Office format, XML and even email messages. Personal files such as handwritten notes and tax records can also be scanned and then placed in the OCR software. Once the files are there, it is very easy to organize it. Users will also be able to easily open the files if they need it in a hurry. They can simply type in the name of the file and then find it through the records. There are some OCR programs which also have timeline output. This means that the files are organized in a timeline setting and users can open the files through looking for the dates. Such are just some of the benefits of using OCR Scanning Software.

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Florida man accused of threatening to bomb animal shelter
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Florida man accused of threatening to bomb animal shelter

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Florida man was arrested after he allegedly left multiple phone messages with a local animal shelter in Brooksville, threatening to blow them up. Peter Dalessandro, 52, surrendered himself to authorities around 11:00 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday.

Dalessandro has been charged with multiple counts of threatening to place or discharge an explosive device and multiple counts of assault. Dalessandro allegedly made six calls after a puppy the shelter had taken in was euthanized quickly. He called the shelter several times on April 20 and threatened to kill anyone who was there and stated that a bomb was on the property. A search of the property, however, revealed no bomb.

Allegedly, Dalessandro was angered about a recent incident involving euthanizing of an eight-month-old puppy at the shelter within fifteen minutes after the dog’s arrival. According to reports, it is the animal shelter’s policy to euthanize animals as soon as possible if there is no room to house them. However, The Miami Herald reports a shelter volunteer’s claim that there were at least ten kennels open at the time the dog was taken in. An investigation has been opened into the incident and is ongoing. Several employees of the shelter have been relieved of their duties until it has completed.

The director of the shelter called the euthanizing a mistake. Further reports reveal that Dalessandro allegedly called the shelter staff “scumbags” and told them, “I don’t know how you can make an error like that. I’m going to place a bomb and kill everybody.”

Dalessandro has reportedly made threats of a similar nature not related to this case. According to police, Dalessandro has a history of harshly reacting to news of animals dying or which have suffered abuse and has a rap sheet dating back to 2001. Some of the accusations against him include calling individuals who have been accused of killing animals and calling an attorney defending an individual accused of killing a dog.

Study links foie gras consumption with Alzheimer’s, arthritis, diabetes, other diseases
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Study links foie gras consumption with Alzheimer’s, arthritis, diabetes, other diseases

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A study published on June 18 in the American Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found a link between the consumption of foie gras and other meat products and a number of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus type 2, tuberculosis, and amyloidosis. The link exists in genetically susceptible individuals.

The study was lead by Alan Solomon, M.D., a professor and researcher at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine and the director of the Human Immunology and Cancer / Alzheimer’s Disease and Amyloid-Related Disorders Research Program. Amyloidoses are a group of disease states caused by the deposition in vital organs of proteins in the form of fibrils, causing a range of symptoms such as swelling and kidney damage. The deposition of amyloid beta in the brain is central in the origin of the disease process of Alzheimer’s disease. Foie gras is made from the livers of ducks or geese that have been force-fed.

According to Solomon, “we posit that this and perhaps other forms of amyloidosis may be transmissible, akin to the infectious nature of prion-related illnesses [such as mad cow disease]. In addition to foie gras, meat derived from sheep and seemingly healthy cattle may represent other dietary sources of [the fibrils]. People with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or other amyloid-associated diseases should avoid consuming foie gras and other foods that may be contaminated with fibrils,” continued Solomon.

Reasons To Choose Carpeting From The Carpet Store In Glenview, Il

byAlma Abell

Many people think that it is a lot cleaner and more hygienic to have wood and other solid floor coverings in their homes instead of carpets. Actually, there are many benefits to having carpeting installed in a home. For one thing, floors are a lot safer when they are covered with carpets. Many other types of floor coverings, including hardwood, can be quite slippery, and one can easily slip and fall, and end up injuring themselves. It is especially good to have carpeting when there are young children in the home, as they are often moving quickly and can easily fall and get hurt. It is pretty much impossible to slip on a carpet.

Carpeting from a carpet store in Glenview, IL can help lower energy bills. This is because they add insulation to floors, especially when one is using an under pad along with carpeting. Bedrooms, living rooms, and family rooms are often carpeted, because they will be warmer. Carpeting is nice to have on cold days when one doesn’t want to get out of bed and step onto cold floors in their bare feet.

When homeowners use hardwood, linoleum, and other hard flooring, they are going to notice the noise in their homes more. These floors are loud when they are stepped on, and when there are a lot of people moving around in a home, the noise just gets worse. Carpeting helps to reduce noise. It absorbs the sound of footsteps, and also absorbs other sounds and echoes in a room. It also helps to muffle the sounds of people moving around overhead.

One of the main reasons why people don’t choose carpeting from a Carpet Store in Glenview is because they think that there is a lot of care and maintenance involved. Carpets are actually quite easy to care for, often much easier than expensive hardwoods. They simply need to be vacuumed regularly, and spills should be cleaned up as soon as they happen to keep stains from setting in. Other than that, one should have their carpets shampooed about once each year to keep them fresh looking.

Bird Flu found in Africa
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Bird Flu found in Africa

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

The H5N1 Avian Flu virus, also known as Bird Flu, has been found in Nigeria by Italian scientists. Tests done on samples in a laboratory confirm that the strain is the one that can kill people, although no human cases have been reported said the Paris-based United Nations body. This is the first time is has appeared on the continent.

Reports say tests of the virus closely resemble the virus in Asia. The virus has been discovered in poultry flocks in a large Nigerian farm. “It is the first report of the disease in Africa,” the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday.

“It’s going to be very difficult to mount an eradication campaign,” said Dr. Alex Thiermann, president of the OIE’s international animal health code, from Paris, France. “With what we have today, it is a highly pathogenic H5N1 – the same, or very closely related to the previous ones,” said Thiermann. He also added, “a full genetic analysis of sample viruses is expected to be completed by late Thursday.”

Maria Zampaglione of the Paris-based OIE said “An outbreak has been detected. A local poultry farm keeping 46,000 birds was affected, of which 42,000 were infected and 40,000 of those, died.” The farm is located in Jaji, which is a village in the northern state of Kaduna.

“The farm is located near the Niger Delta, one of the largest over-wintering areas for wild birds in Africa.” said Thiermann.

Quarantine measures on the control and movement of poultry have been taken, and the farm has been disinfected said Nigerian authorities.

“However, it is too early to say how serious the outbreak is and how big its spread could be,” said Ilaria Capua of the Italian bird flu centre in Padua. “We have to be cautious in evaluating the possible implications of these findings.”

In Rome, Samuel Jutzi, a director of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said, “if the situation in Nigeria gets out of control, it will have a devastating impact on the poultry population in the region. It will seriously damage the livelihoods of millions of people and it will increase the exposure of humans to the virus.”

“When you have 46,000 chickens in a house, usually you have some degree of biocontainment…So these (chickens) are not likely to be the ones to first encounter migratory waterfowl,” Thiermann said.

Wildlife circles have been debating on whether or not wild birds are spreading the virus around the globe. Experts believe they are playing a role but most believe poultry movement, poultry products and poultry manure is the main cause of the spreading of the virus.

“But probably not in this case,” said Thiermann. “While it’s too early to blame the wildlife, it’s very likely to be in an area that’s remote enough that it’s not likely to be associated with international trade.”

OIE spokeswoman Zampiglione also said, “Experts had been fearing an African outbreak for months. The conditions there are more likely to lead to contagion from birds to man.”

UK government rejects industry proposal for press regulation
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UK government rejects industry proposal for press regulation

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The British government have rejected a proposed plan for press self-regulation from a group of newspaper publishers and have said they intend to proceed with a Royal Charter supported by the three main political parties. The culture secretary Maria Miller said Tuesday in the House of Commons the proposal by the newspaper industry failed to implement fundamental parts of the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry into behaviour and ethical standards of the press last year.

Miller announced the final draft of the Charter will become availble on Friday following revisions by the political parties, and will be discussed by the Privy Council on October 30. The proposals offered by the newspapers and the government differ on implementation details on the regulator that would replace the Press Complaints Commission. The newspapers wish to allow former editors of newspapers to serve on the “recognition panel” which would supervise the operation of the regulator while the government wishes to forbid former editors. The government wish to prevent serving newspaper editors from being on the appointments committee for the regulator while the press proposal seeks to require one of the four members of the committee to represent the press industry.

The government proposal seeks to make it so the Royal Charter can be amended by Parliament, with a two-thirds majority from both houses, while the press proposal gives industry trade bodies a say on changes to the Charter. In both proposals, an arbitration service would be provided as an alternative to going to court, but the government wishes to make the arbitration service free for claimants while the newspapers want it to be “inexpensive” because they believe free arbitration could lead to a rush in claims going to arbitration. Both proposals would allow the regulator to fine the industry up to £1 million and demand the prominent publication of corrections and apologies to news stories.

The Hacked Off campaign welcomed the rejection of the industry proposals. A spokesman described the proposals as “a wrecking manouevre by unrepentant sections of the press trying to avoid accountability and carry on with a broken system of press regulation” but condemned the delays in implementation: “Ten months after the publication of the Leveson Report and seven months after all parties in parliament endorsed its recommendations in a Royal Charter, there can be no legitimate excuse for yet another delay.”

Hacked Off was formed following the revelations in 2011 that journalists working for the Sunday tabloid News of the World hacked into the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

The newspaper industry continue to express concern regarding the proposals. Trevor Kavanagh, a columnist for the Sun, said that the “major issue here is keeping the freedom of the press out of the sticky fingers of the politicians who want to control it”.

Kirsty Hughes from Index on Censorship said: “Establishing press regulation by royal charter could allow politicians to interfere in press regulation and threaten media freedom in the UK.”

Movie actor Hugh Grant, a director of Hacked Off, rejected criticism of the charter from the press, arguing the press object to the system because “when the press gets things wrong and harms people unfairly, the charter system will give those people a much better chance of redress. It will provide free or at least very cheap arbitration, instead of requiring people whose rights have been breached to pay mountainous high court legal bills. And it will provide a free, independent complaints service in the case of breaches of the industry code of standards.”

Grant goes on to argue that the press have attempted to reform the “old, discredited” Press Complaints Commission which Lord Leveson had found not fit for purpose. Instead, he argues, the press should welcome the new regulator as a protection from libel as joining in means “their journalists will have better protection from legal bullying by corporations and oligarchs. Because litigants are pushed towards cheap arbitration it will no longer be possible for the very wealthy to gag reporters simply by threatening high court actions. The court costs would fall to the libel bully.”

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