20 January

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

20 January

Thai prime minister dismisses offer by anti-government protesters

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thailand’s prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has ruled out a compromise offer by anti-government protest leaders for parliament to be dissolved in thirty days, with elections to be held in 90 days.

In a televised address on Sunday, with army chief General Anupong Paochinda at his side, the prime minister dismissed the offer made by the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), saying such issues could not be resolved in such a short period of time, and “because they use violence and intimidation. I cannot accept this.”

Abhisit said the government stood by an offer made during earlier talks with the UDD for the house to be dissolved within the next nine months.

In reaction, the UDD, also called the Red Shirts, maintained an earlier call for parliament to be dissolved immediately. The UDD also withdrew from any further negotiations with the government. UDD leaders have repeatedly warned supporters rallying in central Bangkok’s retail and business areas of the threat of a new government crackdown.

There have been two large incidents of street violence in the past month or so, resulting in 26 deaths and injuries to hundreds of people. The Red Shirts primarily consist of supporters of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 coup. He was later given a two-year prison term on charges of corruption, although Shinawatra left the country in self-exile to avoid being jailed.

20 January

Fire Alarm System Installation Is Very Easy}

Fire Alarm System Installation Is Very Easy

by

Pamela G. Grizzle

You want to get a fire alarm for your home but you don’t know how to install a fire alarm. In fact, you don’t know a thing about wiring, or installing anything. If this describes you, have no fear. Fire alarm system installation is as easy as picking up the phone and calling someone to come install it for you. When you contact a fire alarm system installation company, you can have a representative come to your house to show you the types of fire alarms they have available.

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The rep will let you know which fire alarm system installation would most benefit you and your family. Then, the person will install the fire alarm for you. That way you know it’s going to work correctly every time, thus keeping your family as safe as possible.Finding a CompanyYou will find many fire alarm system installation companies in your local phone book. Or you can search online. Not all fire alarm system installation companies are the same, however. Make sure you do some research on the companies you find so that you can ensure that your fire alarm system installation will go smoothly.It’s not generally a good idea to just go with the cheapest company you can find. This is your home and your family’s safety we’re talking about here. It’s best to go with the best company, not just the cheapest, when it comes to finding a fire alarm system installation company.What You should ExpectWhen you find a company to install your fire alarm, you should expect a representative of that company to visit your home. The representative will survey your home and will show you some options as far as what the best system would be for your home. Listen to the rep’s advice and choose your fire alarm based on your needs. Do you want the fire alarm to just alert you when there’s a fire?Do you want it to activate a sprinkler system? Do you want it to alert the authorities for you so that you can focus on getting your family to safety? These are all things you need to consider so that you can ensure that you get the best fire alarm system installation possible. Then you can rest easy knowing that your family is safe in the unfortunate case of a fire really breaking out in your home.

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Fire Alarm System Installation Is Very Easy}

20 January

Rower Tuijn halfway across Pacific in record attempt

Monday, July 9, 2007

Dutch adventurer Ralph Tuijn has reached the halfway point of his attempt to be the first person to row across the Pacific Ocean unaided.

The 16,000 kilometre journey from the coast of Peru to the seaside city of Brisbane, Australia, the widest section of the Pacific, has never been crossed absolutely unaided by a rower, and Tuijn says just nine people have rowed it even with assistance.

Tuijn reached the central point of his crossing, an insignificant point of water in the ocean, 111 days after setting off from Peru in March. He has been making good progress, and has since cut his estimated time of arrival in Brisbane by a month.

The Dutchman, who now expects to reach his destination on October 20, has kept in touch with those tracking his movements through daily internet postings from his laptop computer, including his wife Winnie. His boat, the Zeeman Challenger, is a seven-metre custom plywood vessel.

Tuijn has overcome a variety of obstacles to reach the halfway point. He is suffering from the constant attention of sharks, who often bump his boat and disrupt his attempts at sleep. One particular shark, dubbed ‘Gomulka’ by Tuijn, has been trailing the adventurer’s boat for extended periods.

He has also accidentally burnt himself when he spilled hot water on his foot whilst trying to make coffee, apparently also from a shark ‘bump’. He is also forced to manually pump water for cooking and drinking after his automatic water pump broke down not long into his journey.

“Physically everything feels great and I can’t help feeling that I could do this for 500 days, but mentally it’s still hard to be on your own for such a long time”

His vessel has no motors or sails, but relies on his physical rowing power to move. The boat does have a solar power system to provide energy for his laptop, a telephone and a global positioning system.

Tujin, who is raising money for a children’s home in Mumbai, India, is rowing at an average speed of 58 kilometres each day. His diet consists of freeze-dried foods and fish, which are keeping him physically well-conditioned despite tiring mentally.

Tuijn is a serial adventurer and experienced rower. He has rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, as well as cycled across Russia and the icy terrain of Greenland.

19 January

Washington Metro collision kills nine, injures many

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

At least nine people have been reported killed in a serious collision incident between two metro trains in Washington, D.C., United States.

The collision which occurred on the Red Line between Fort Totten and Takoma Park stations of the city’s Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority during the early evening (1700 local time) is also reported to have injured a number of other passengers. The fatalities include the operator of one of the trains. At 7:58 pm local time, two more fatalities were confirmed, resulting in a total of six deaths.

In a statement to media, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty was quoted as saying “With the four confirmed fatalities, it is my preliminary understanding that this would be then the deadliest accident in the history of our Metro train transit system,” at a news conference following the incident.

The Metro’s general Manager John Catoe was also quoted as saying “We are extremely saddened that there are fatalities as a result of this accident, which has touched our Metro family. We hope to have more details about the casualties later today. Our safety officials are investigating, and will continue to investigate until we determine why this happened and what must be done to ensure it never happens again,”

The cause of the collision incident is still unclear, although it has been suggested by some sources that a derailment or head on collision may have led to the incident.

18 January

News briefs:May 17, 2010

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17 January

Fire engulfs 140 buildings in Itoigawa, Japan

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A fire on Thursday engulfed at least 140 buildings in Itoigawa, Japan. The inferno injured, by varying reports, at least eight people.

The coastal town in the northern prefecture of Niigata’s many traditional wooden buildings burned easily, fanned by winds of 56kph (35mph). Narrow streets hampered firefighters. “Sparks of fire flew around,” one local resident recounted to Japanese public broadcaster NHK. “That’s why far away buildings unexpectedly caught fire and it became large-scale. I’ve never seen something like this before.”

The national Fire and Disaster Management Agency said the fire started at a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant’s owner yesterday told police he left a stove on and stepped outside. Police said the man told them “I feel deeply sorry for what I’ve done,” and said he went home, returning to find a pot aflame.

Hundreds of residents were evacuated, with 40,000 square metres (about ten acres) of city burning. The fire broke out at around 10:30am local time in a shopping area near the city’s primary train station. It was brought under control by around 8:30pm. Firefighters were assisted by Self-Defence Forces troops brought in at the request of Niigata Governor Ryuichi Yoneyama.

“We will do our utmost effort in supporting those affected”, Yoneyama said yesterday as he inspected the disaster scene. Firefighters remained wary yesterday that ongoing high winds could reignite the charred ruins. Local authorities have begun consulting residents on assistance.

Emperor Akihito paused during his 83rd birthday celebrations to offer condolences. “Many people had to be evacuated in the cold weather. I hope their health will not suffer,” he said from his Tokyo palace.

We will do our utmost effort in supporting those affected

Two women in their 40s suffered minor injuries, one via smoke inhalation and one by falling and hitting her head. At least five firefighters also sustained minor injuries. The fire was Japan’s worst non-natural blaze for twenty years. Smoke rose about 300m (roughly a thousand feet) as rescuers worked to contain it. Seventeen fire trucks responded.

Itoigawa is home to around 44,500 people. It faces the Sea of Japan. The mixed neighbourhood features both homes and shops. One local official said it is suspected the timing of the fire led to many residents being out of harm’s way.

17 January

Call An Expert To Remove A Honey Bee Swarm In Reynoldsburg

byAlma Abell

There are many reasons you may want to call in an expert in Animal control. Perhaps you have a squirrel problem that needs to be taken care of or there are actually bats in the attic. However, one of the most difficult pest control problems isn’t animal related, but the result of insects. More specifically, bees. A Honey Bee Swarm in Reynoldsburg can be very dangerous because the bees are known to attack when agitated and may not cease the attack immediately. This presents a danger to anyone who has an allergy to the venom. Wild bees are a bit more difficult to handle than the bees on a honey farm.

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Eliminating a Honey Bee Swarm in Reynoldsburg can be a big job because bees have been known to expand their hive to fill large spaces. For instance, a bee swarm that looks small on the outside of your house could actually fill up the space between the wall studs. Hives of this size could run into the thousands, and attempting to remove it on your own could be very dangerous. Even experienced bee removal personnel need to exercise caution. Through the use of smoke and proper vessels to contain the bees, they can eventually remove the whole swarm.

One of the most important things to remember when removing honey bee swarm is that these insects are more dangerous when protecting the hive’s young. Surprisingly, a cluster of flying bees are more docile than those left behind to protect the hive. Bees will fly around for a number of reasons. The first is to find pollen or other materials for making honey. The second is to find a new place to build the hive.

Bees prefer a home with an easily defensible entrance, which is why they like to build their hives inside walls. Most walls will have some small space bees can take advantage of. This could be a defect in the material or an opening in the eaves. You may not even realize that you have a bee problem because you only see a few bees at a time, which is why contacting an expert is so important.

Contact The Wildlife Control Company for more details.

16 January

Appalachia Mountains coal company plays State politics

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Massey Energy Co., the fourth largest coal producer in the U.S., filed a federal lawsuit against the Governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin.

Massey’s CEO Don Blankenship alleged that Gov. Manchin acted in retaliation against the company’s coal mining operations because the company spent $650,000 in an advertising campaign to defeat the governor sponsored pension bond proposal. The $5.5 billion bond proposal, intended to shore up the state’s sagging pension plan, was defeated in a special election held in June.

The Massey lawsuit, filed last Tuesday on July 26 in the U.S. District Court in the W.V. southern district, was referred to by Gov. Manchin as having less to do with the bond proposal than with the newly increased state “severance tax” on coal. Nearly 40 million tons of coal production will be subject to the 56-cent tax.

According to Blankenship, that tax amounts to $22.4 million in additional costs for the company, but he denied the increase has anything to do with the lawsuit.

The company reported profits that almost tripled during the second quarter compared to a year ago. Of the company’s rosy earnings picture, Blankenship urged states to “show some frugality” by not placing tax burdens on coal to solve state budget shortfalls. He said his company is “playing a role” because there was no need for the bond sale and the state can afford to make payments into the pension system.

Blankenship acknowledged during a conference call the now-rescinded June 30 permit by the W.V. Department of Environment Protection (DEP). At issue was the department’s permit for mining operations near the Marsh Fork Elementary School, in Sundial, W.V. The school rests at the base of a mountain selected by Massey for “Mountain Top Removal” (MTR) mining techniques. Along with the mining equipment, a coal preparation plant and a sludge pond were established on the mountain. Protest groups, mainly the Coal River Mountain Watch and Mountain Justice Summer, presented a list of demands to Massey officials that included shutting down the preparation plant, ceasing all MTR mining above the Marsh Fork Elementary School, and abandoning plans for a second coal silo near the school. They also ask that the Marsh Fork school be cleaned up or relocated. The state permit for a second coal storage silo was rescinded by the DEP the same day Massey filed the Manchin lawsuit.

Gov. Manchin in June said that Blankenship could expect tougher state scrutiny of his business affairs since the Massey media campaign against the pension bond proposal. “I think that is justified now, since Don has jumped in there with his personal wealth trying to direct public policy,” he said at an appearance at an American Electric Power event in Putnam County.

16 January

6.0 magnitude earthquake rocks eastern Turkey

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Basyurt, in the Elazig province or eastern Turkey at 04:32 AM (02:32 GMT) on Monday. According to local Kandilli observatory, the quake struck at a depth of five kilometres; the epicenter was near Karakocan town in the same province.

The pre-dawn earthquake killed at least 40 people and almost 100 were injured. The village of Okcular was worst hit, claimed the press secretary for the provincial governor, Ozcan Yalcin. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, nearly five hours later, a magnitude-5.5 aftershock hit the province. 40 other aftershocks followed shortly, the highest of them being 4.4 magnitude, according to sources.

While no deaths were immediately reported, the government’s crisis management center soon put the toll at seventeen with another 60 injured according to the officials at Ankara, the capital. It was soon confirmed that at least 39 were dead; the toll is expected to rise. At least four of the victims were children.

Muammer Erol, the provincial governor of Elazig, stated Okcular, Yukari Kanatli and Kayali accounted for majority of the dead. He told CNN Turk that “villages consisting mainly of mud-brick houses have been damaged, but we have minimal damage such as cracks in buildings made of cement or stone”.

Okcular, the largest of the affected villages, accounted for at least seventeen of the dead. The village has a population of 800, and the majority of the dwellers live in mud-brick homes built on hillsides. About 25 to 30 houses were demolished in this village. “The village is totally flattened,” Hasan Demirdag, local administrator, told NTV.

Yadin Apaydin, the administrator of Yukari Kanatli, said his village had been severely affected. “Everything has been knocked down – there is not a stone in place,” he told CNN’s Turkey sister network, CNN Türk.

“Many houses have collapsed. Search and rescue teams have been sent to the area,” said the prime minister’s office in a statement. Injured people are being rushed to local hospitals according to sources. At least 100 people have been taken to hospital. Some who panicked after the first quake jumped from balconies or windows were injured.

Rescue workers, consisting of policemen as well as civilians dug with shovels to rescue people from the debris. The Turkish Red Crescent is also sending tents and blankets to be distributed. Neighboring districts are providing ambulances to assist the victims. Cemil Cicek, deputy Prime Minister of Turkey has left for the disaster area. Health Minister Recep Akdag, Housing Minister Mustafa Demir and State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz are accompanying him.

According to CNN Türk, the tremor of the earthquake was felt in the adjacent provinces of Bitlis and Diyarbakir, causing residents to panic.

Turkey lies on highly active fault lines and earthquakes often hit the nation. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake in Istanbul killed 20,000 people in August 1999. Most of the earthquakes that hit Turkey are usually minor.


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