Bush addresses nation on economic crisis; Congress debates bailout

Thursday, September 25, 2008

United States President George W. Bush addressed the nation on the economic financial crisis from inside the White House saying the economic situation is “serious” and is “in danger” of becoming “a long and painful recession.”

“We are in the midst of a serious financial crisis and the federal government is responding with decisive action,” Bush said in his televised speech.

Bush called for the United States Congress to pass a US$700 billion bill intended to keep struggling companies afloat. He asked the two presidential candidates along with leaders from both parties of Congress to join him for a conference on Thursday.

Last Friday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson called for a bailout plan that would allow for the United States government to purchase devalued mortgage backed securities, resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis, from troubled financial institutions. Paulson has said that the plan could cost up to $700 billion. Congressional leaders have said that some form of the plan will pass; however, there is considerable debate over several key issues.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said that Bush “believes it is important for the American people to fully understand the depth of the crisis in our financial markets, how that crisis affects them, and the urgent need to agree on a solution.” Bush has been criticized for waiting too long to speak in prime time.

John McCain suspended his campaign to return to Washington and work on the bailout bill. Barack Obama has called for another form of the bill to pass and said that Congress should not package the bailout bill with any other bills — such as an economic stimulus plan.

Meanwhile, Congress has held a second round of hearings on the proposed bailout bill. Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke testified in front of the House Financial Services Committee. They felt it was a serious problem in need of an immediate solution.

Is, as some politicians have suggested, the bailout plan a “blank check”?
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Rep. Barney Frank, Chairman of House Financial Services Committee, says it is “clear” that the financial bailout bill will pass.

Director of the Congressional Budget Office Peter R. Orsza said while testifying before Congress that “ironically, the intervention could even trigger additional failures of large institutions, because some institutions may be carrying troubled assets on their books at inflated values.”

The bailout plan has been called a “blank check” by many, with members of both parties divided on the issue.

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Posted on September 24th, 2022 by  |  No Comments »

In depth: Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal controversy

Friday, May 26, 2006

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

In February of 2006, the Savarino Services Construction Corp. proposed the construction of a seven million dollar hotel on Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York. In order for the hotel to be built, at least five properties containing businesses and residents would have to be destroyed. It was not certain whether the properties were owned by Savarino or by the landlord Hans Mobius. The hotel was designed by Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group, and is planned to be a franchise of the Wyndham Hotels group.

Elmwood Avenue is known by the community as a popular shopping center, and Nancy Pollina of Don Apparel (who is “utterly against” the construction) claims it’s the only reason why students from Buffalo State College leave campus. Additionally, Michael Faust of Mondo Video said he did not want to “get kicked out of here [his video store property].”

In 1995, a Walgreens was proposed to be built on the same land, but Walgreens later withdrew its request for a variance because of pressure from the community. More recently, Pano Georgiadis tried to get the rights to demolish the Atwater House next to his restaurant on Elmwood Avenue, but was denied a permit due to the property’s historical value. He has since been an opponent to the hotel construction.

In the process of debating the hotel, it was thought that a hotel had previously existed on the proposed site, however; research done at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society had shown that no hotel had previously existed on the site.

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Posted on September 22nd, 2022 by  |  No Comments »

Prevention And Termite Control In Oceanside

byAlma Abell

Termites are small but very destructive insects. Once they infest your home or structure, they will cause a lot of damage to your property if not taken care of as soon as you notice them. For their prevention and treatment, termite control in Oceanside offers the best options and services. Listed below are some of the most common methods used to control and prevent termite infestaion.

Chemical Methods of Control: In chemical control of termites, there are several methods used and each is effective in its own way. They include:

•Termite Baits

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The most effective way to bait termites is by first inserting a non-baited wood in the termites feeding spots and then later replace it with baited wood. It is usually dipped in a slow acting insecticide which after being fed on by the termites eliminates them.

•Wood treatment

The wood is sprayed with termiticides before or after construction to keep the termites away.

•Convectional Barrier System

The soil around your structure is treated. This method should be carried out by a professional because any carelessness might be risky to humans and the environment.

•Termite Fumigation

This is the use of a gas which has sulfuric fluorite as its active ingredient. The house or structure is tented before the gas is sprayed to ensure full penetration. This gas is very toxic and may cause death to humans. The fact that it is colorless and has no odor makes it very risky. Experts however use it together with Chloropicrin and tear gas so that its presence can be noted. Chloropicrin causes eyes respiratory system irritation. After the required period, the tent is removed so the gas may leave the house. Proper equipment is used to detect traces of remaining gas. This method of termite control should strictly be carried out by professionals, and they should use self Contained Breathing apparatus.

•Extreme Heat

The house affected is tented then extreme heat pumped in raising the temperature of the woods affected. The heat effectively destroys the colonies in big numbers.

Posted on September 22nd, 2022 by  |  No Comments »

Toyota, Tesla to develop electric SUV

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Toyota Motor Company announced they have formalized an agreement to develop an electric version of the RAV4 SUV with Tesla Motors.

In May 2010, Akio Toyoda and Elon Musk, leaders of Toyota and Tesla, respectively, announced they would work together on electric vehicles. The agreement formalizes this announcement and would allow Tesla to work with Toyota at an automobile production plant in California.

The plant will open 2011, when Tesla reopens it after it bought the Fremont, California plant. The plant was previously used by Toyota and General Motors, but was shut down when Toyota said it would not produce cars in California.

Tesla currently produces only a single model, the US$109,000 Roadster, although it is currently designing a second model, the Model S, which will be produced at the Fremont factory.

Analysts supported the move; John Boesel, CEO of a green-transportation trade group, said that “Toyota’s willingness to partner with Tesla to provide an electric version of one of the Japanese automaker’s existing vehicles suggests the partnership between the two companies is going to be a meaningful one.”

Following this announcement, Tesla’s shares rose $0.75, while Toyota’s fell $1.65.

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Posted on September 20th, 2022 by  |  No Comments »

Food with cancer-causing dye recalled in Britain

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The British Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced a recall of foods containing banned dyes which increase the risk of cancer. The food products were sold at the Tesco, Waitrose, and Somerfield supermarkets.

A Bristol company called “Barts Spices” found the illegal Para Red substance in their Barts Ground Paprika, which was sold in 48g and 46g jars with a “Co-op” label. The batch codes on the affected products are 5032 and 5089 (expiration Dec 2007), and 5075 (expiration February 2007).

Tesco also found that their 130g package of BBQ rice cakes (expiration November and December 2005) contained both Para Red and Sudan I.

“It would be very prudent to assume that it could be a genotoxic carcinogen,” FSA scientific advisers told reporters.

“As a company committed to supplying only the very finest quality food ingredients, we took the immediate decision to withdraw our ground paprika spice from all outlets selling the product and advertised a product recall in the national press,” a Barts Spices spokesman said in a statement.

Sudan I is only authorized for industrial use to colorize petroleum products, such as shoe polish. Para Red and Sudan I are banned under the British Colours in Food Regulations of 1995.

Britain last went through a major food recall in February, when Worcester Sauce was found to contain chili powder dyed with Sudan 1.

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Posted on September 19th, 2022 by  |  No Comments »

Ukrainian manufacturer preparing to sell Adolf Hitler dolls

Thursday, April 24, 2008

 Correction — May 3, 2008 This article has been retracted. This article has been deemed a hoax. Please see the follow up article, Hitler doll story found to be hoaxed, for more information. 

News reports are claiming that dolls depicting former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler will go on sale in Ukraine. These reports cite Ukraine’s Zerkalo Nedeli newspaper which reported that a toy manufacturer would release the line of Hitler dolls in the summer.

The 40cm doll will reportedly first be available in Kiev with a £100 (GBP) price tag and comes with a large range of accessories in a presentation box with the dates of Hitler’s birth and death.

Nazis images are illegal in Ukraine, with positive portrayal specifically banned. However, there are allegations that right-wing nationalist politics are gaining strength in the country and that xenophobia and racism are on the rise, including some said to be comparable to that present in Germany under Nazi rule. Fascism and propaganda are also banned.

When the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine, was invaded by Germany under Hitler’s rule 2–3 million Ukrainians were among the casualties, of which 1.5 million were Jews.

Adolf can be dressed in various guises, including “early days Adolf”, which consists of a brown shirt and jodhpurs, and “Wartime Adolf”, which features a grey tunic, black trousers and the Iron Cross medal. The doll also comes with boots and shoes, caps, gloves, full uniforms, cane and belt which can be placed on Hitler, whose arms move, allowing the doll to replicate the famed salute of its real life counterpart.

Kids can undress fuhrer, pin on medals and there’s a spare head in the kit to give him a kinder expression on his face

Also included is a model of Blondi, Hitler’s female German Shepherd, who was exceedingly loyal to Hitler. Hitler poisoned Blondi with cyanide in 1945 at the same time as taking his own life in his bunker at Berlin.

“It is like Barbie. Kids can undress fuhrer, pin on medals and there’s a spare head in the kit to give him a kinder expression on his face. He has glasses that are round, in the manner of pacifist John Lennon,” said one saleswoman. The company, which will release the dolls in Summer, says that if demand is high a range of toys themed on the Third Reich may be released, to include barracks, working models of crematoriums and gas chambers, concentration camps and interior models of the chancellery.

The doll is not set to be released until the summer, but BBC News Online has footage suggesting that some stores are selling the doll already.

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Posted on September 18th, 2022 by  |  No Comments »

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Posted on September 17th, 2022 by  |  No Comments »

Robin Cook dead after collapsing

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Robin Cook, the former British foreign secretary and current Member of Parliament, has died of a suspected heart attack after collapsing on a walk with his wife on Ben Stack hill, Scotland. Cook, aged 59, was flown to a hospital in Inverness by a rescue service helicopter half an hour after collapsing.

A spokesperson for NHS Highland said that Mr. Cook arrived at hospital 90 minutes after his collapse, and was reported dead five minutes later. A postmortem examination has concluded that he died from hypertensive heart disease.

Mr. Cook was buried on August 12 at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh in a service attended by close family, friends and political figures from across the world. British Prime Minister Tony Blair however came under attack from Mr. Cooks friend and racing pundit John McCririck for his absence from the service.

Robin Cook served as Foreign Secretary under New Labour and was a critic of the war in Iraq. He resigned as Leader of the House of Commons in 2003 in protest against Prime Minister Blair’s foreign policies.

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Posted on September 15th, 2022 by  |  No Comments »

Customer Service Customer Loyalty Wins Sales

Batteries not included. Three of the dumbest words.

Your Company spent millions of dollars to develop this wonderful product. Engineers spent countless hours creating and refining it. You spent additional millions of dollars in advertising to get me to buy it.

I bought it. I took it home and now it won’t work because YOU neglected to include the only part that WILL make it work. For a couple of extra bucks, your cost and mine, I’m frustrated and angry with you and your Company.

It’s the same with customer service.

No matter what you sell; whether it’s goods or services, big ticket or small, sales and customer service are not two separate pieces. Every sale must come with the customer service built in.

Exceptional customer service is NOT an extra cost of doing business. It is an investment in your own future success.

In the early 1950s, my uncle had a very small clothing store in Miami, Florida. In those days, Miami was a major entertainment center, with the biggest names in show business appearing at the major hotels, very similar to Las Vegas today.

One evening, as he was leaving the stage at the end of the early show, a young singer ripped his tuxedo jacket on a nail sticking out of the wall. It was after 8 P.M., all the clothing stores were closed.

The hotel management called the major stores and owners because the singer didn’t want to go on stage with a torn jacket or worse, no jacket.

None of the fancy clothing shop owners would leave their homes to accommodate the young man. Finally, in desperation, my uncle got the call. Would he come downtown with a couple of tuxedos? Within an hour my uncle was at the hotel with 4 tuxedos. He did the fitting and tailoring right on the spot.

The young singer and the big hotel management were ecstatic. The singer tried to shove a few extra hundred dollar bills into my uncle’s hand, but he wouldn’t take the money, explaining that he was honored to have the opportunity to earn the business.

The singer promised that he would never forget my uncle’s kindness and would tell his show biz friends about my uncle. True to his word, the singer continued to tell his friends about my uncle, even as his singing career skyrocketed.

The young singer – Frank Sinatra. My uncle – went from a tiny clothing store on the edges of oblivion to “Mickey Hayes – Clothier to the Stars”; his walls covered with hundreds of photographs of the biggest names in show business.

On the other side of the coin is INTEL, the major manufacturer of computer chips, and, a great company.

Some years ago, Intel’s newest chip had a design flaw that caused a problem in only the tiniest number of calculations, and only in highly complex situations. As this problem began to get reported in the press, owners of computers built with these new chips wanted replacements.

Intel’s management stated that these customers were somewhat stupid since only highly complex calculations in specialized situations would experience that problem and then, only on the rarest occasions. They said that they would replace the chip if the customer could substantiate the claim that their chip was flawed. How stupid. If it only goes bad once in a zillion times, why not give a lifetime guarantee? Most of the customers would never run into that problem. If they had immediately offered the lifetime replacement guarantee, ALL of the customers would have had a very high degree of confidence that they would never need to take Intel up on their offer.

Intel finally did offer lifetime replacement – after worrying, offending and insulting millions of their customers.

We can all learn a valuable lesson from Nordstroms; the department store famous for customer service. Their service to customers is so incredible, that people go out of their way to shop there.

Mr. Nordstrom calls it ‘customer heroics’. “We do it because we want more business – NOT simply because we’re nice guys.” I’ve always told my employees – “don’t save me ‘MY’ money. If it helps the customer, SPEND my money. Even if they make a mistake, they won’t be criticized if it helped the customer”.

Nordstrom, over a period of many years, has developed a corporate culture of service to the customer. Any corporate culture, if it is going to endure successfully, MUST take on a life of its own, apart from the wishes of management. It has to be adopted by every employee, because THEY each think that it’s a good idea.

Whether you are a 1 person operation or the largest company, you know what good customer service is. It’s the Golden Rule applied to business – “Do unto others”.

Listen to your customers’ spoken requests – and unspoken. They’ll tell you what they want. Add a large portion of your own good common sense. Make a commitment to yourself that you will give your customers, service beyond their highest expectations If you will do these few simple things, I can guarantee you success beyond YOUR expectations.

Posted on September 15th, 2022 by  |  No Comments »

U.S. Secret Service conducts drone exercise

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Associated Press (AP) reported on Tuesday the U.S. Secret Service is conducting drone exercises over Washington, D.C. to defend against unmanned aerial vehicles being flown over the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the Secret Service to conduct these flying exercises. The exercises are to be over parts of D.C. airspace which is normally off-limits below 18,000 feet, also called a no-fly aone or the D.C. flight restricted zone. The exercises are to take place in the very early morning hours over the next several weeks.

According to AP, a U.S. official speaking under condition of anonymity said the agency is testing these drones for law enforcement and to defend against potentially dangerous drones, but declined to comment on the specific details because they’re classified. However, they sought to prevent concerns by possible witnesses by publicizing their intent to conduct tests. The agency is cautious of witnesses of unmanned aerial vehicles flying over D.C. because of a drone sighting incident several weeks ago. Witnesses saw several unidentified drones flying over Paris, France, which caused concerns.

AP said techniques to be tested include signal jamming. Most drones use radio-frequency signals for remote control. Intercepting these signals might allow tracking the drones. Jamming, though, could interrupt Wi-Fi of people in the vicinity.

The FAA last month announced preliminary guidelines requiring UAVs be operated within sight of the operator, prohibiting night flying, and requiring speeds below 100 miles per hour (about 160 kph) and altitudes below 500 feet.

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Posted on September 15th, 2022 by  |  No Comments »