Southern Ocean whale slaughter to resume

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The international environmental organisation, Greenpeace, have been shadowing a Japanese whaling fleet currently operating in the Southern Ocean in Australian Antarctic Territory. They claim a minor victory against the six-vessel fleet, saying no whales have been killed since Christmas Eve. However they expect a resumption of whaling and protest activity soon.

Greenpeace has two ships, MV Esperanza and MV Arctic Sunrise, active near Antarctica, in an effort to disrupt the whalers, who intend on slaughtering over 900 Minke whales and 10 Fin whales in the region this summer. The activists aim to stop the Japanese whaling fleet as it tries to catch nearly 1000 whales for what is claimed to be scientific research.

Greenpeace chief Steve Shallhorn states that the protesters have chased the six-ship fleet northwards, with the vessels now away from the designated whaling zone. Greenpeace plan to maintain their efforts to keep the whalers in the public eye.

“What the fleet is doing is trying to outrun Greenpeace so that it can sneak back into the whaling grounds and resume the kill,” he said. “And for that very reason, we’re doing our very best and are succeeding in keeping up with the factory whaling ship. We are certain that they do not want any further publicity.”

He said Greenpeace will continue its high-speed tailing for as long as it takes. “We’re capable of staying out there for many more weeks,” he said. “The [Japanese] fleet is clearly embarrassed by having their actions exposed to the world, since the spotlight on their activities shows what it really is – commercial whaling with a very thin disguise.”

The whalers have been unable to kill any whales since Christmas Eve due to poor weather and harassment by Greenpeace vessels, and the Washington-based Sea Shepherd ship, RV Farley Mowat. The Sea Shepherd is operating independently of Greenpeace but say they are working towards a common objective – “the shutting down of illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean.”

Greenpeace expedition leader Shane Rattenbury says the whalers have a season of about 100 days. “Their quota is 945 whales. If you lose, say, 10 per cent of those through bad weather, they’ve got an average they need to catch of 10 a day and it’s gone 10 days now without having any whales,” he said. “That starts to add up pretty quickly. They’re under a bit of pressure to get on with the business.”

Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research have rejected the claims made by Sea Shepherd, that Japanese warship was being sent to Antarctica to protect the fleet against the activists.

The Japanese institute spokesman condemned Sea Shepherd over the claim by Farley Mowat captain Paul Watson, who called on the Australian Government to keep the peace.File:Greenpeace Vessels Esperanza and Arctic Sun.jpg

Sea Shepherd had requested the presence of the Australian navy to monitor events in the Southern Ocean. However, Australia’s environment minister, Senator Ian Campbell, said that Sea Shepherd’s threats to attack the fleet “risk setting back the cause of whale conservation many years”.

Capt Watson said yesterday: “Stop threatening us, Mr Campbell, and charge us if you believe we are acting unlawfully. Stop posing for the Japanese [who] are in blatant violation of international conservation laws.”

Japan’s Fisheries Agency, which conducts the whaling, said the claim was a tactic by Sea Shepherd to try to raise the stakes for extra publicity.

“This is why the environmentalists’ campaign in the Antarctic is a PR stunt: every time they get some media coverage there’s always some member not too far away asking the public for money,” an agency spokesman said in a statement. “Only this time, it completely backfired and now people will question what these groups say.”

The spokesman had no response to Greenpeace’s claim that another vessel had joined the whaling fleet and was refuelling the ships within the boundary of the Antarctic Treaty’s nature reserve.

Mr Rattenbury said the 57 activists and crew aboard the Greenpeace ships were in good health following a quiet New Year’s Day celebration on deck under a midnight sun.

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Southern Ocean whaling season (2005-2006)

He said his ships were not in contact with the Farley Mowat, which is believed to be closer to the Antarctic ice shelf. The Farley Mowat’s weblog quoted ship captain Paul Watson as saying the Sea Shepherd group had no conflict with Greenpeace, despite earlier British media assertions.

“As far as I am concerned both Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace are working towards a common objective – the shutting down of illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean,” said Paul Watson.

Greenpeace believes the fleet killed at least 25 whales from the time it contacted the whalers just before Christmas.

New Zealand begins process to consider changing national flag design

Thursday, May 7, 2015

On Tuesday, the New Zealand government announced the start of a public process to suggest designs for a new national flag, and determine whether their citizens would prefer a different national flag over the current one.

The current New Zealand flag is partially based on the United Kingdom’s flag; the new one would be unique to New Zealand. The government’s Flag Consideration Project has planned a number of conferences and roadshows as part of this process, with the first meeting set to take place in Christchurch on May 16. According to the New Zealand Herald, Emeritus Professor John Burrows, the chairman of the project’s panel of twelve, said New Zealand’s flag has never before been open to public choice.

Professor Burrows also said resources and kits would be accessible for schools and communities, “For example, schools can run their own flag discussions and referendums to mirror the formal process as part of their own learning exercise”. People were encouraged to submit their designs online at www.flag.govt.nz and suggest what the flag should mean on www.standfor.co.nz. Names of participants would be engraved, at their option, on a flag pole monument to be built in the nation’s capital, Wellington.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said he believes redesigning the flag now has a “strong rationale”. Mr Key promoted the campaign for a unique New Zealand flag on Waitangi Day — February 6 — this year. Of the public process, he said, “In the end I’ll have one vote in each referendum just like every other New Zealander on the electoral roll”.

The New Zealand government intends to hold two referendums to reach a verdict on the flag, at an estimated cost of NZ$26 million, although a recent poll found only a quarter of citizens favoured changing the flag. This is a decrease from the year before, when it was forty percent. The first referendum is to be held from November 20 to December 11, selecting a single new flag design out of about four finalists. Voters would then choose between the new flag and their current flag early in 2016.

Election in Moldova instigates rioting mob demanding recount

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Protests which began Monday escalated to a riot on Wednesday consisting of over 10,000 people in Chi?in?u, the capital of Moldova, protesting the results of Sunday’s 2009 Moldovan parliamentary election, which showed an apparent, narrow victory for the Communist Party (Partidul Comuni?tilor din Republica Moldova, PCRM). Demonstrators claim the victory was the result of electoral fraud.

The demonstration escalated to a “flash mob” of between 10,000 to 15,000 communicating via online tools like email, micro-blogging tool Twitter, and social-networking website Facebook. “We sent messages on Twitter but didn’t expect 15,000 people to join in. At the most we expected 1,000”, said Oleg Brega of the activist group Hyde Park.

Police deployed tear gas and water cannons, and fired blanks into the crowd. The rioters threw stones at the riot police and took control of the parliament building and presidential office. A bonfire was built out of parliamentary furniture and all windows below the 7th floor were broken.

Approximately one hundred protesters and 170 police officers are reported as injured. There have been conflicting reports as to whether a female protester died during the altercation.

193 protesters “have been charged with looting, hooliganism, robbery and assault,” said an Interior Ministry spokesperson. This announcement sparked another protest by those demanding the release for those detained.

There is wide speculation about who was to blame for the rioting.

President Vladimir Voronin has expelled the Romanian ambassador from Moldova, blaming Romania for the violent protests. “We know that certain political forces in Romania are behind this unrest. The Romanian flags fixed on the government buildings in Chisinau attest to this” said Voronin. “Romania is involved in everything that has happened.“ Voronin also blamed the protests on opposition leaders who used violence to seize power, and has described the event as a coup d’état.

Protesters initially insisted on a recount of the election results and are now calling for a new vote, which has been rejected by the government. Rioters were also demanding unification between Moldova and Romania. “In the air, there was a strong expectation of change, but that did not happen”, said OSCE spokesman Matti Sidoroff.File:Dorin Chirtoaca.jpg

“The elections were fraudulent, there was multiple voting” accused Chi?in?u mayor Dorin Chirtoac? of the Liberal Party. “It’s impossible that every second person in Moldova voted for the Communists. However, we believe the riots were a provocation and we are now trying to reconcile the crowd. Leaders of all opposition parties are at the scene,” said Larissa Manole of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) proclaimed the PCRM to have won 61 seats in initial counts, enough to guarantee a third term in power for Voronin, who has held the position since 2001. But the Central Election Commission has received evidence of election violations, according to RIA Novosti, and upon recounts conducted of disputed polls, the commission reported that the Communists achieved 49.48% of the Moldovian vote, giving them 60 parliamentary seats — one short of the total needed to win the presidential election. “The electoral commission also granted opposition parties permission to check voter lists, fulfilling one of their chief demands,” said Yuri Ciocan, Central Election Commission secretary.

Voronin will step down in May, however his party could elect a successor with 61 parliamentary seats without any votes from outside parties as well as amend the Constitution. With the PCRM garnering 60 seats, the opposition will have a voice in the presidential election for a new successor.

The western part of Moldova was a part of Romania from the Romania’s independence until the region was detached by the USSR in 1940 to form the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. On independence in 1990 the country sought union with Romania but the eastern, Russian- and Ukrainian-inhabited areas of the country declared themselves independent from Moldova and formed the state of Transnistria and movement toward union was halted.

Moldova is Europe’s poorest country, where average income is less than $250 (£168) a month. The country’s neighbours are Romania and Ukraine. Romania is a European Union (EU) state.

Let Your Business Talk To The World By Using Website Translation

You have spent a fortune on building a lovely website that tells the world about your business. You have hired the most talented marketing experts to market your products. Your sales team is in overdrive to make more sales. Yet you find that you have lagged behind your competitors in terms of revenues. Why does this happen? This is due to the fact that your website is in English, which is not spoken by majority of people around the world. Normally people are comfortable in doing business with those businesses who can communicate in their language. This is one factor that makes you lose out on business and affect your revenues. To remedy this situation, it is important for you to approach a website translation company.

A company providing website translation service must have EN 15038 certification. EN 15038 is the certification developed by CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, to monitor the quality levels provided by the translation company. Many European businesses that outsource their translation jobs have made this certification mandatory.  So it is always advisable to choose the translation company having this certification. But this is not the sole factor that you should take into account when selecting a translation company. Here are some other major points that are equally important.

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How to choose the right company for website translation?:

  • What are the other certifications awarded to the translation company besides EN 15038? Does it have ISO 9001 certification? Selecting the company with these credentials will ensure you get the highest level of quality.
  • Has the translation company hired native speakers of the language in which the translation has to be done? E.g. are you planning to translate your website into Russian? If so, is the staff working on your translation project native Russian speakers? The quality of the translation carried out by native Russian speaker is much better than that done by the non-native Russian speaker.
  • Does your website have specialized content, like finance? If so, does the translation company have finance experts on board? Many non-expert translators will not be able to translate financial terms accurately, causing problems for you later on.
  • Are you interested in outsourcing your website translation to an overseas translation company? If so, is the company ready to accept your preferred payment method? Certain companies may insist you pay them by wire transfer, which you may not prefer to do so.
  • Is the translation company ready to provide your preferred hardware and software platform for your translation? E.g. if you want to translate your website into Oracle for Unix, the company should offer this service.

The key to successful business overseas is to design your website carefully, so that the overseas customers feel closely related to your business. This can be done by choosing the correct translation company, only to watch your sales grow exponentially.

Article Source: sooperarticles.com/business-articles/let-your-business-talk-world-using-website-translation-4251.html

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Visit us at: lyriclabs.comAuthor: translation

Mumbai officials demolish 39K shanties; 200K homeless

December 25, 2004

Officials in Mumbai, India, demolished over 6,000 shanties today in a push to eradicate the capital city’s slums. In total, 39,000 shanties have been flattened, displacing over 200,000 people, in the city’s biggest-ever demolition drive, which began in early December.

When complete, over 2 million people are expected to be displaced. After wiping out the least desirable shanties, next in line for demolition are the illegal ‘well-off’ shanties and neighborhoods, according to the legal and bureaucratic motions that have been executed toward cleaning up Mumbai’s appearance by lowering the dominance of shanties, which make up 62 percent of Mumbai’s housing.

“As far as eye can see, there are mounds of wood, tin and tarpaulin, the remains of 6,200 illegal homes, flattened by a heavy excavator running on tank-like tracks and giant motorised claws,” the Indian Express reported about today’s destruction. [1]

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that citizens would see a change within six months. “Every chief minister likes to be remembered, and I’m no exception,” said Deshmukh, who despite having an empty exchequer, also announced that Rs 31,000 crore will be spent on new roads, sea links and rail lines. [2]

Wikinews Shorts: November 13, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, November 13, 2008.

Contents

  • 1 Study shows that carrying excess fat around waist increases risk of early death
  • 2 EU abolishes rules banning oddly-shaped fruit
  • 3 Vase bought for £1 sells for £32,450
  • 4 Blackwater may pay financial penalties for improper arms shipments
 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

A new study has found that people storing extra fat around their waist have a strongly increased chance of early death, even if their overall weight is average. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine today, found that for each addition 5 cm on the waist, the chance of early death is increased by between 13% and 17%.

In the study, 360,000 people from across nine countries in Europe were surveyed.

One of the study’s authors, Professor Elio Riboli of Imperial College London, commented on the findings. “We were surprised to see the waist size having such a powerful effect on people’s health and premature death,” he stated.

Sources

  • “‘Love handles’ raise death risk” — BBC News Online, November 13, 2008
  • Ian Sample. “Waist, not just weight, shows risk of premature death, study says” — The Guardian, November 13, 2008
  • Tobias Pischon et al. “Abstract: General and Abdominal Adiposity and Risk of Death in Europe” — New England Journal of Medicine, November 13, 2008

The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has today lifted its ban on unusually shaped fruits and vegetables, in what the EU’s agriculture commissioner has called “a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot”.

The regulation has previously been criticized as an example of the EU’s bureaucracy by critics of the organisation.

The products affected by the deregulation are apricots, artichokes, asparagus, aubergines, avocadoes, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, cherries, courgettes, cucumbers, cultivated mushrooms, garlic, hazelnuts in shell, headed cabbage, leeks, melons, onions, peas, plums, ribbed celery, spinach, walnuts in shell, water melons and witloof/chicory.

Sources

  • “EU slices up ‘ugly fruit’ rules” — BBC News Online, November 13, 2008
  • “Europe Relaxes Rules on Sale of Ugly Fruits and Vegetables” — New York Times, November 13, 2008

A vase purchased at a car boot sale for £1 has sold for £32,450, following advice from experts on the BBC‘s Antiques Roadshow television program. The vase was sold in an auction at Christie’s.

The vase was found to be a 1929 work made by the French designer Rene Lalique.

Sources

  • “Car boot sale vase nets £32,450” — BBC News Online, November 13, 2008
  • “£32,449 profit for car boot sale vase by Lalique” — Times Online, November 13, 2008

Recent anonymous press briefings by US State Department officials indicated that its arms control division may punish Blackwater Worldwide for improper paperwork.

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has the power to fine or agree voluntary penalties with exporters of certain weapons, who do not follow correct procedures. Blackwater Worldwide, a private military company, exported automatic weapons to Iraq that became the subject of a federal investigation first disclosed in 2007.Concern was expressed by the unnamed officials that paperwork errors may make the weapons untraceable, and that some reached Iraq’s black market.

Sources

  • “Blackwater Faces Millions in Fines for Weapons Shipments (radio show transcript)” — Democracy Now!, November 13, 2008
  • Knight Ridder / McClatchy Newspapers. “Blackwater faces Fines over Arms Deal” — Military.com, November 13, 2008
  • Dan Friedman, Congress Daily. “Blackwater could face sanctions for improper arms shipments” — Government Executive, November 7, 2008

US unemployment rate reaches 8.1%

Friday, March 6, 2009

The official unemployment rate in the United States increased to 8.1% (seasonally adjusted), the highest level in over 25 years, after the Labor Department reported that 651,000 jobs were lost in February. The U-6 unemployment rate, an alternative measure also published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes other categories of unemployed and underemployed workers, was reported to be 16%.

The US economy has now shed 4.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. Half of the job losses have come in the last four months, and the unemployment rate has jumped by 3.3% in the past year.

The Federal Reserve says that it doesn’t expect the jobless rate to fall below seven percent until 2011.

The professional and business service sector lost 180,000 jobs last month, while manufacturing shed 168,000. The construction industry has lost 1.1 million jobs since January 2007 and 104,000 jobs last month. At the same time, the financial sector lost 44,000 jobs, bringing the total to 448,000 lost jobs since a peak in December 2007.

“The construction industry is in a near depression,” said the General President of LIUNA, Terry O’Sullivan.

“We are staring into the abyss. The recession is intensifying and the economy is rapidly shrinking,” said Steven Wood of Insight Economics.

US stock markets opened higher after the report.