Sydney off-ramp to charge $1.20 for 200m drive

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority announced Friday night that a AUD$1.20 toll will be charged on a pair of new 200 metre long on and off ramps from the Warringah Freeway to Falcon Street, North Sydney.

According to the RTA the ramps are part of the Lane Cove Tunnel project. The new ramps are being constructed so that traffic can enter and leave Falcon Street from the Northern side of the Warringah Freeway. At present, there are only on and off ramps on the Southern side of the intersection.

The Southern ramps will remain toll-free.

According to the RTA, the toll was set at $1.00 in 1999. Inflation has been applied to that value to bring it to the $1.20 that will be charged when the ramps open. Heavy vehicles will pay $2.40 to use the ramps, although commercial buses will not be tolled.

As with all of Sydney’s newest toll roads, tolls will be collected electronically.

Neither NSW Premier Morris Iemma nor transport minister Eric Roozendaal has commented on the tolling arrangements for the ramps.

Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.


  • 1 On Gay Talese
  • 2 On a higher power and how he’d like to die
  • 3 On the media and Iraq
  • 4 On the Iraq War
  • 5 State of Journalism
  • 6 On travel to Cuba
  • 7 On Chinese gay bars
  • 8 On the literary canon
  • 9 Sources

How To Protect Your Wooden Outdoor Sofas

Submitted by: Carole Johnson

Spending some time on your patio or on your backyard can be quite relaxing after a long days work. Since a lot of people love to spend some time to relax outside their homes for awhile, many are getting outdoor sofa sets to place on their patio or along their yard.

There are a lot of choices when looking for a sofa outdoor set, among them are wicker sofas. These sofas are made from wood, interwoven to create a sturdy sofa that you can place on your patio or on your yard. Rattan wicker sofas are not only friendly to your budget, but they also have great durability that cal allow them to last long.

However, if you really want to get the most of your wicker furniture, like the wicker loveseat that you often enjoy sharing with your partner you should follow these tips:

1. Coating your sofa with water proof-polish when choosing a wicker sofa for outdoor use, make sure that


you choose one that has been coated with water proof-polish. Since they are intended for outdoor use, they will constantly be in contact with moisture, especially during rainy days. Water can easily degrade any wooden furniture. So you need to have them protected with water proof-polish.

However, if you re chosen furniture does not have a water proof coating, you can easily purchase one in your local hardware and paint it over the furniture yourself. This should be done from time to time to give maximum moisture protection. This can help prevent moisture from degrading through your wooden furniture.

2. Drying your wooden sofa aside from having a water proof polish placed on your wooden furniture, you should also keep in mind that water can easily seep in through wood if there is entrance. In order to prevent damage due to moisture, you should properly dry your furniture.

You should wipe the moisture from your wooden furniture during the morning or after it got wet. This prevents water from seeping into your wooden furniture and destroying it.

3. Termites and pests aside from moisture, termites and other pests are one of the greatest threats to any wooden furniture. Termites eat through wood and can easily destroy your wicker furniture if you do nothing to prevent or treat the invasion.

In order to protect your furniture from termites, make sure that you purchase wooden furniture that is made from wood that has been treated with chemicals that repels termites. Another option is to purchase a termite spray product and spray it over your furniture yourself. This will prevent future termite attacks on your furniture.

Getting a rattan wicker sofa for outdoor use can be a great investment. It is quite relaxing and cool to sit in, compared to upholstered sofas. Other than that, they also come in varying styles and designs that can allow you to choose one that you think is fitting to place in your patio or for outdoor use. Having one placed on your patio, outdoor garden, front or backyard can truly add style and a place for you to relax in your home.

About the Author: Carole Johnson has been in the home design business for more than 30 years. She has assisted homeowners with their furniture needs, specifically with

contemporary vanity


modern bath vanity

amongst others.


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New York executive files $60 million libel lawsuit over insurance scandal

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A former Marsh & McLennan Cos. executive has hit former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer with a $60 million defamation lawsuit over an online magazine article regarding an insurance bid-rigging scandal.

William Gilman, a former Marsh managing director, filed a complaint last Friday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, over allegations Mr. Spitzer defamed him in a Slate article published a year ago. A copy of the complaint was made public on Monday.

Gilman, who had a final insurance fraud charge dismissed in January, said Spitzer acted with “actual malice” by suggesting that he was guilty of crimes of which he was never accused.

Although he wasn’t named in the article, Mr. Gilman complained that Spitzer defamed him by writing that “Marsh’s behavior was a blatant abuse of law and market power: price-fixing, bid-rigging and kickbacks all designed to harm their customers and the market while Marsh and its employees pocketed the increased fees and kickbacks.”

“While Mr. Spitzer’s statements do not refer to Mr. Gilman by name, Mr. Gilman is readily identifiable as the subject of the defamatory comments,” said the complaint. “Mr. Spitzer was well aware of his own allegations as attorney general and the resolution of those allegations in favor of Mr. Gilman and yet, recklessly disregarded these facts.”

In 2004 Mr. Spizter, then the state’s Attorney General, announced an investigation into the practices at Marsh & McLennan, particularly fees paid by insures to brokers who place business with them. Gilman, who worked for the company at the time, was charged in 2005 with 37 counts of insurance fraud. Gilman’s final charge was dropped last January.

“I haven’t seen the lawsuit and so will not comment on it,” said Spitzer. “The illegalities rampant at Marsh & McLennan leading to their fine of $850 million and the multiple judicial findings of illegality are clear from the public record.”

Mr. Gilman is now seeking at least $10 million in compensatory damages; $20 million in general damages, including damage to his reputation; and $30 million in punitive damages.

2008 COMPUTEX Taipei: Three awards, One target

Monday, June 23, 2008

2008 COMPUTEX Taipei, the largest trade fair since its inception in 1982, featured several seminars and forums, expansions on show spaces to TWTC Nangang, great transformations for theme pavilions, and WiMAX Taipei Expo, mainly promoted by Taipei Computer Association (TCA). Besides of ICT industry, “design” progressively became the critical factor for the future of the other industries. To promote innovative “Made In Taiwan” products, pavilions from “Best Choice of COMPUTEX”, “Taiwan Excellence Awards”, and newly-set “Design and Innovation (d & i) Award of COMPUTEX”, demonstrated the power of Taiwan’s designs in 2008 COMPUTEX Taipei.

Wikinews attends Texas Haunters Convention

Monday, August 5, 2019

Wikinews attended the Texas Haunters Convention on the last weekend of July — July 27–28 — in Mesquite, Texas. The event was held at the Mesquite Convention Center and spanned roughly 35,000 square feet of exhibit and classroom space. Halloween-themed, the event was focused on equipment, techniques, props and costumes used in haunted attractions and home haunts.

A children’s costume contest was held each day, with an array of characters and monsters featured.

An array of classes were on offer, one of which allowed attendees to make a faux shrunken head. In a separate class, instructors taught attendees how to build a ‘bubbler’ prop, as might be displayed in a spooky laboratory scene.

Other classes included:

  • Stunts and Stilts
  • Circular Haunting
  • Foam Fright Guns
  • Facade Planning and Building

YouTube personality Mr. CreepyPasta was on hand and did a reading of scary stories. Belly dancing troupe Tribal Evolution performed on Saturday and again that evening at the adults-only Costume Ball.

Local actor and producer Joshua Winch was on hand offering DVD’s of his films and promo photos and posters. Winch told Wikinews he began acting in theater 20 years ago and also worked on several film projects as a Production Assistant. Ultimately, he began producing film projects writers would present to him in 2004. Winch said he has produced a great deal of horror-comedy films, but grew tired of reading reviews that his films weren’t horror because they had comedic elements. He then approached a director and said, “I want you to make a pure horror movie.” The result was his recent film, Fall of Grace. Winch said the film has been screened at 14 film festivals and he was named Best Actor at one of those events.

More than 70 vendors were present at the event, coming from various parts of the U.S., including California and Florida. A mobile escape room was onsite and allowed playthroughs for VIP attendees.

Lace Curtains Add Beauty And Grace To Your Home}

Lace Curtains Add Beauty And Grace To Your Home




The word lace is derived from the Latin word Lacques, meaning loop or snare. The term lace extends to any openwork fabric that is created by looping, twisting, or knotting of threads either by hand or machine. Lace may be made of any fiber-silk, linen, cotton, polyester, rayon, etc. Most hand-made laces today are made from linen, cotton, or silk. Machine-made laces are most frequently made from polyester (on industrial lace machines), cotton, or a combination of both of these fibers.

Lace curtain manufacturing involves filling of thread or fabric in areas thus creating a textile that includes both an open mesh as well as opaque sections. The resulting fabric is airy and light, allowing light and air to filter in through the lace curtain, or permitting a colorful clothing fabric to peek out from behind lace used in clothing decoration.The first use of lace curtains is unknown, but it is unlikely that anyone but the very wealthy could have afforded to have put handmade lace in their windows where they could be ravaged by sun or rotted by rain. It is more likely that they were used first in the mid-nineteenth century when machine made laces made such curtains affordable. Furthermore, as heavy curtains are coupled with lighter curtains to shield the privacy of the Victorian house, lace curtains were the logical choice for these filmy barriers. Today, the lace curtain is only made on large lace-making machines that produce thousands of yards each year. While lace curtains of other centuries would have been extraordinarily expensive, the price of mass-produced curtains is very reasonable, and curtains may be purchased of synthetics such as polyester which require little care and are available in a variety of colors.Always highly prized for its extraordinary beauty and intricate patterns, lace was considered a dear commodity until lace-making machines largely destroyed the market for handmade lace. Ancient Egyptian art depicts lace hairnets about 2,000 B.C. By the Middle Ages, curtains and textiles included lace, as well as exquisite and expensive clothing from the fifteenth century until the early nineteenth century. By the early nineteenth century, the British were successfully producing machine-made lace curtains with the help of a knitted net. Today, lace curtains are popular once again. Still prized for their airy beauty, lace curtains permit light to filter through the window, while still providing privacy. Some lace curtain companies offer patterns that have been in machine production for 140 years.

Finesseindia is a fifty year old company keeping pace with fashion industry, has expertise and knowledge of Laces which are intricate accessories to adorn on the fashion garments. At Finesse, artists provide varieties of lace to suit individual tastes in varied hues, patterns and designs. Visit for more details.

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Lace Curtains Add Beauty And Grace To Your Home}

Thailand’s “Truth Today”, Thaksin tonight; pro-government protesters mass at stadium

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Around 1,500 police have been deployed to monitor and manage a mass pro-government rally in Thailand’s Rajamangala Stadium. Another 2,000 officers are on standby in case of trouble following the rally. The event’s highlight is expected to be a telephone address by ousted and now-fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Dressed in red shirts, busloads of supporters of the former premier have been arriving in Bangkok all day. The rally has started several hours ahead of schedule and so far the “Truth Today” event has been peaceful and good-natured. It is expected that the rally will be broadcast as a political talk show during prime time, the event is billed as being pro-democracy and a counter to the ongoing protests by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) who seek to have the current government removed due to claims of influence by Thaksin. The country’s current Prime Minister, Somchai Wongsawat is Thaksin’s brother-in-law and stands accused of being a proxy for the now-outlawed Thai Rak Thai party.

According to the event’s organiser, Jatuporn Prompan, an MP with the People Power Party, Thaksin will speak at 8pm local time and, “is free to speak out and will not be restricted by topics and time constraints”. Concern that the speech may exacerbate the country’s current political crisis has led to army chief, General Anupong Paochinda, ordering that the event be closely monitored. Thailand’s military have previously given assurances that there will not be a repeat of the bloodless 2006 coup which deposed Thaksin and his populist government.

Thai authorities are currently drawing up extradition paperwork for Thaksin following him being found guilty by a division of the Supreme Court of abuse of his powers over a land deal where his wife bought prime real estate in Bangkok. The court is expected to review Thaksin’s broadcast message; should the content of his message to supporters be found as contempt of court an additional seven year jail term could be added to the two year sentence already handed down.

Is Thaksin’s rural support base something you believe he ‘bought’?
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Earlier in the week anti-government protesters picketed the British embassy in Bangkok calling for Thaksin’s extradition. It is expected he would fight this and has already claimed he cannot get a fair trial in Thailand. He alleges the country’s judiciary is sympathetic to the opposition.

Tensions continue to increase in the months-long dispute. Thursday saw two attacks on anti-government parties take place. Security staff for the PAD protest outside Government House were attacked with a grenade and another explosive device was thrown into the garden of a senior member of the judiciary. According to Thai police the attack on PAD supporters injured ten.

Armed forces reinforcements are on standby for the end of today’s “Truth Today” rally. With the national stadium able to hold 100,000 there is concern over what will happen when the event ends at 10pm. Bangkok police commander, Suchart Muankaew expressed concern saying, “anything could happen”.

French fashion brand Lacoste announces limited-edition logo change from crocodile to endangered animals

Saturday, March 3, 2018

On Wednesday, French sports clothing brand Lacoste announced producing a limited edition of polo shirts featuring top-ten endangered animal species as the logo, instead of the company’s usual crocodile logo, in a measure to protect those animals, partnering with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Lacoste announced partnering with IUCN at the Paris Fashion Week. Proceeds from the sale would be donated to the IUCN, online magazine Dezeen reported. The collaboration was a part of IUCN’s “Save our Species” (SOS) programme.

The endangered animals to feature on the polo shirts were: vaquita, Burmese roofed turtle, northern sportive lemur, Javan rhino, Cao-vit gibbon, kakapo, California condor, saola, Sumatran tiger, and Anegada ground iguana.

The limited edition polos were to be produced in the count of the endangered animals, meaning 30 shirts featuring the vaquita, a mammal found near the Californian Gulf, would be produced as only 30 vaquitas are believed remaining. In total, 1775 polos featuring an endangered animal as the logo would be produced.

Lacoste was founded by tennis player René Lacoste and André Gillier in 1933 and their crocodile logo was never changed until now, in the 85-year-history of the clothing brand.

The limited edition shirts were to be available in only some European countries and the United States.

Endangered animal Count Location
Vaquita 30 Gulf of California (Mexico)
Burmese roofed turtle 40 Myanmar
Northern sportive lemur 50 Northern Madagascar
Javan rhino 67 Java (Indonesia)
Cao-vit gibbon 150 China, Vietnam
Kakapo 157 New Zealand
California condor 231 United States
Saola 250 Vietnam, Laos
Sumatran tiger 350 Sumatra (Indonesia)
Anegada ground iguana 450 Anegada (British Virgin Islands)
Note: Statistics from Lacoste’s website

Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment

Thursday, July 31, 2008

From the middle of July, Sony Corporation refreshed their senior laptop brand VAIO from “Video Audio Integrated Operation” to “Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer”. According to Sony Taiwan Limited, this refreshment is an attempt to relocate the laptop consuming market for business and entertainment factors.

In the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Europe, Sony promoted their new product series for different populations including BZ for business, FW for home entertainment, Z for ultra-slim, and SR for complex applications.

Different with past series, Sony added “Clear Bright” screening technology for high-definition display, and “full-carbon production” features. BD-burning and Intel Centrino 2 processing technologies will be featured in all the new models. For security issue, Sony also embedded fingerprint system to prevent personal data to be stolen. Continued from TZ series, innovative designs including “Green Power Button”, “Situational Switch” are also added in newly-launched series.

“Due to consuming market differences, Sony only promoted BZ series in Europe and America but not included Asia. Although the TICA Show in Taipei will be different, functionality will be the greatest issue when a consumers choose a notebook [computer] before buying.” addressed by executives from Sony Taiwan Limited, during the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Taiwan.