Ullrich and Sevilla suspended from Tour de France

Friday, June 30, 2006

STRASBOURG, France — T-Mobile suspended the Tour de France contestants Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla, and they will not participate in the Tour de France. Ullrich’s mentor, Rudy Pevenage, is also suspended.

The news was published at today’s press meeting.

It is the first consequence of the big Spanish doping-scandal. The 32-year old Jan Ullrich won Tour de France in 1997. He was together with Team CSC’s Ivan Basso the favorite winner in Tour de France, and the Spaniards Oscar Sevilla was one of Ullrich’s most important helpers.

All three have to prove their innocence before they can be released, said the German crew who will try to get the two new bikers in the game.

Team CSC-owner Bjarne Riis said friday, when he was on his way to meet the other sports executives, and the Tour-management:

“It is sad news. I just heard it. It is of course a shame.”

Altogether 22 riders are mentioned on the list.

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Anthrocon 2007 draws thousands to Pittsburgh for furry weekend

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — Local caterers get ready for big business, as almost three thousand fans converge on the David L. Lawrence Convention Center over the Independence Day weekend for the world’s largest ever furry convention, Anthrocon 2007.

Many hope to renew acquaintances, or meet new friends. Others look to buy from dealers and artists, or show off new artwork or costumes. Some attend to make money, or even learn a thing or two. But one thing unites them: They’re all there to have fun.

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Oil prices drive new investment in clean technology

Monday, April 24, 2006

Investors are rushing to fund new ventures in renewable energy as Americans continue to see rising gasoline prices at the pump. The price for crude oil continues to rise to new record highs ($75 per barrel of crude oil on NYMEX as of Friday’s close). According to the results of a survey reported by the San Francisco Gate, in the 1st Quarter of 2006 investments in the clean technology sector has increased by 13% to $3.36 Billion in the US. In addition to attracting venture capital, clean technology companies are receiving a buzz from high profile investors.

Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft, announced last week that his venture group (Cascade Investments) initiated the purchase of 25.5% ownership in Pacific Ethanol Inc. Pacific Ethanol is an ethanol production company that plans to expand operations by opening a new facility in California. Gates is not alone in high profile investments into the clean energy market, Bob Metcalfe (Founder of 3COM and Inventor of Ethernet), who acts as the managing partner of Polaris Ventures, announced the VC’s first investment into the energy market. Polaris, which manages over $3 Billion in funds, invested $6.8 million into GreenFuel Technologies Corporation of Cambridge, MA. GreenFuel Technologies is an emissions to biofuels company, that utilizes natural algae in their patented bioreactors to turn greenhouse gas emissions from power plants into rich bio fuel. Polaris’s investment into GreenFuel was part of the company’s $18 Million Series B financing round that also included a high profile venture capital investor: Draper Fisher Jurvetson. When asked about the new industry venture, Bob Metcalfe said, “Energy has got to be one of the top five problems the world faces, and it’s been frustrating to watch activists and politicians fail to solve the problem,…Now it’s time for the entrepreneurs and scientists to give it a try.”

According to the International Energy Association, demand for renewable energy fuels will more than quadruple in the next decade. The current jump in oil prices is fueling investment into this relatively new market as investors view clean technology as an emerging opportunity rather than a public relations campaign. As gasoline prices continue to rise, alternative fuels become respectively cheaper and more attractive. In his latest State of the Union Address, President Bush outlined a plan to direct new investment into ethanol production and other clean technologies. According to a poll conducted by CBS News, Americans now see gas prices as one of their top three main concerns. With pressure coming from constituents, politicians are beginning to exert pressure on new spending on renewable technology to promote energy independence. Yet another front in this debate is that of environmental concern. With global warming on the rise, and many European governments eagerly searching for a Carbon Dioxide solution, the promise of reducing these emissions by 46% (as claimed by GreenFuel’s bio reactor system) begins to resonate as a promising environmental and business opportunity.

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US automaker bailout deal fails to pass Senate

Friday, December 12, 2008

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

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

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

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

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Republican Senator Bob Corker was also unhappy about the rejection. “We were about three words away from a deal. We solved everything substantively and about three words keep us from reaching a conclusion,” he said.

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

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

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US automaker bailout deal fails to pass Senate

Friday, December 12, 2008

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

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

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

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

HAVE YOUR SAY
Did the Senate do the right thing in rejecting the bailout plan?
Add or view comments

Republican Senator Bob Corker was also unhappy about the rejection. “We were about three words away from a deal. We solved everything substantively and about three words keep us from reaching a conclusion,” he said.

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

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

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IRA disbands military structure

Thursday, October 5, 2006

The Independent Monitoring Commission has reported that the Provisional Irish Republican Army has undergone major changes within their military structure and shows that the IRA Army Council wants to put its military campaign behind it. The Commission consists of John Alderdice, a former Alliance Party leader; Joe Brosnan, former Secretary General of the Department of Justice, Republic of Ireland; John Grieve, former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and former head of the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terror Branch; and Dick Kerr, former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Agency.

The report states the IRA no longer has the capacity to mount a military campaign anymore or return to one. The units that have been shut down were responsible for weapons-making, arms smuggling and training. The IRA decommissioned their arms last year.

The report also mentions that the IRA has also put its criminality beyond use and is “clamping down” on criminals within the organization, said Lord Alderdice, as he presented the report. He also added, “That doesn’t mean that criminal activity by all members has stopped but the leadership has made public statements and internal directions, investigated incidents of breach of the policy, even expelled some members and has emphasised the importance of ensuring that business affairs are conducted in a legitimate way.”

Finally, the report added that there is not enough evidence or intelligence to identify who killed Denis Donaldson, a British spy who infiltrated the IRA and Sinn Fein, before revealing his status as a spy.

However, the report added that splinter groups like the Real IRA (RIRA) and Continuity IRA (CIRA) are still threats and are still continuing their activity. The Real IRA was the group behind the deadly 1998 Omagh bombing. The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) “was not capable of undertaking a sustained campaign [against the British State], nor does it aspire to” according to the report.

It is also noted the creation of two new organizations, Oglaigh na hEireann (Irish Gaelic for “Volunteers of Ireland” and is used by the Irish Defence Forces and the various IRAs.) and the Republican Defence Army. However, the groups are small dissident factions according to the report.

The report also added that the two loyalist paramilitaries, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) are also beginning to move from violence but at slower pace and not at a grassroots level like the IRA. Another loyalist paramilitary, the Loyalist Volunteer Force

The report was received warmly by Irish Toaiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Ahern, said “These positive and clear-cut findings are of the utmost importance and significance. It is time to make decisions and for Northern Ireland to look to the future.”

“The IRA has done what we asked it to do, and while issues like policing remain to be solved, the door is now open to a final settlement, which is why the talks next week in Scotland are going to be so important.” said Tony Blair in a live statement.

In a surprising reaction, the notoriously hardline leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Ian Paisley, also welcomed the report. He believes that his party’s pressure is working and if Sinn Fein signs up to policing there could be a deal. Paisley said, “If the police question is settled absolutely on a democratic basis and principle we would have come a long way along the road.”

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said “The DUP don’t have anything other than very limited options. They will or will not participate in power-sharing arrangements. If they don’t participate they are condemning people here, but particularly their own constituents, to second class public services, run by second class fly-in, fly-out British ministers. All the DUP can do is to delay, is to attempt to slow down, but they can’t stop the process of changing.”

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Repairs To Your Sump Pump In Naperville Il

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Many people suddenly wake up to the smell of waste water in the basement and discover that they need to call a plumber for sump pump repair in Naperville IL. The stench and waste water mean that you may have to find an emergency plumber to have an entire sump pump installation done. Not many people know about the importance of the sump pump in Naperville IL, where it can be found in the home and what to do when it stops working.

Sump Pump Naperville IL Facts From An Emergency Plumber

When you’re buying a new home, the plumbing is one of the aspects that you need to take into consideration. This is quite hard because most of it is hidden behind the walls and underground, but if you do get the chance to have a real search round the house, then head to the basement to have a look at the sump pump: One of the most important plumbing parts you ever need.

* A sump pump in Naperville IL plays a vital role and is used in most homes to pump away water that has built up in the water accumulation sump pit.

* Mostly located in the basement of the home which is the lowest part of the home. The reason for this is that water, and plumping follows the basic laws of gravity.

* Water flows down, so having a sump collection pit and a sump pump in your basement is vital to the smooth running of your entire plumbing system.

* Water enters the collection pit via the natural ground water in the area, when it rains or from the basement drains funneling into the sump collection pit.

* Sump pumps are designed to get the waste water out of your home and into the city and municipal drainage system where it belongs.

What Happens When It All Goes Wrong With Your Sump Pump in Naperville IL?

Plumbing systems can be fickle, and you just never know when they’ll decide to stop working. With much of the plumbing hidden from view, the first sign that there might be a problem is when you step out of bed and into a foot of water. Having a plumber for the repair of your sump pump in Naperville IL is essential and could save you time and money.

Your plumber for repair and installation of a sump pump in Naperville IL is there to make sure that you don’t have to worry about things like your sump pump installation or any aspect of your home plumbing. As your home ages, natural wear and tear become a part of your home maintenance budget and having your sump pump checked regularly and replaced when need be, can save you the huge expense of having your basement flooded and repairs done to the foundations of your home.

Plumbers to handle the repair and installation of your sump pump Naperville are there for instant repair work and long term replacement and installation of all plumbing components. Call thegreatestplumber.com to have your sump pump checked.

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ACLU President Strossen on religion, drugs, guns and impeaching George Bush

Tuesday, October 30, 2007File:Nadine Strossen 5 by David Shankbone.jpg

There are few organizations in the United States that elicit a stronger emotional response than the American Civil Liberties Union, whose stated goal is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States”. Those people include gays, Nazis, women seeking abortion, gun owners, SPAM mailers and drug users. People who are often not popular with various segments of the public. The ACLU’s philosophy is not that it agrees or disagrees with any of these people and the choices that they make, but that they have personal liberties that must not be trampled upon.

In Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with the President of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen, he wanted to cover some basic ground on the ACLU’s beliefs. Perhaps the area where they are most misunderstood or have their beliefs most misrepresented is their feelings about religion in the public sphere. The ACLU categorically does not want to see religion disappear from schools or in the public forum; but they do not want to see government advocacy of any particular religion. Thus, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s placement of a ten ton monument to the Ten Commandments outside the courthouse is strenuously opposed; but “Lone Ranger of the Manger” Rita Warren’s placement of nativity scenes in public parks is vigorously defended. In the interview, Strossen talks about how certain politicians and televangelists purposefully misstate the law and the ACLU’s work in order to raise funds for their campaigns.

David Shankbone’s discussion with Strossen touches upon many of the ACLU’s hot button issues: religion, Second Amendment rights, drug liberalization, “partial-birth abortion” and whether or not George W. Bush should be impeached. It may surprise the reader that many ideas people have about the most visible of America’s civil libertarian organizations are not factually correct and that the ACLU often works closely with many of the organizations people think despise its existence.

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