Wikinews Shorts: August 13, 2009

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, August 13, 2009.

The French capital Paris has seen a second night of violence by demonstrators, who have blamed police for the death of a motorcyclist on Sunday.

On Sunday night youths in the eastern suburb of Bagnolet, set 29 vehicles alight and threw stones and petrol bombs at police. Monday night was “relatively calm” according to Samira Amrouche, spokeswoman for the regional administration, the authorities having depolyed 40 vans of riot police only 8 vehicles were burnt.

The motorcyclist, a pizza deliveryman, was killed when he fled police attempting to examine his documents, dying when he was struck by a pursuing police vehicle according to the youths,however in the police version his death was a result of him crashing into barriers.

The current violence has echoes of the unrest in 2005, with again dissaffected youths of Arab and black descent venting their anger and frustration.


  • “Paris suburb youths fight police” — BBC Online, August 11, 2009
  • “Plea for calm after Paris violence” — Press Association, August 11, 2009

The leaders of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) met in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday and Monday. The leaders of the three countries (Barack Obama of the United States, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, and Stephen Harper of Canada) promised to work together on swine flu, organised crime and green issues.

Despite disputes in a number of areas remaining unresolved, the three leaders succeeded in presenting an amiable Three Amigos image. The three leaders expressed solidarity, and an understanding of each others position.

The unresolved issues include the buy American clauses in the US stimulus package, tit for tat reprisals by the Mexican authorities over Canadian visa restrictions on Mexican travellers, and the US ban on Mexican trucks from crossing the border.

Risking the ire of human rights activists back home President Obama expressed support for President Calderón’s war against drugs saying he had “great confidence” in the Mexican authorities.


  • An. “Canadian and Mexican leaders fail to reach agreement on visas” — Xinhua News Agency, August 11, 2009
  • An. “North American leaders wrap up summit, joint statement embodies cooperation” — Xinhua News Agency, August 11, 2009
  • Tanya Huntington Hyde. “Ignoring Mexico’s human rights abuses” — The Guardian, August 11, 2009
  • “Border ban angers Mexico truckers” — BBC Online, August 09, 2009

Mexican Federal Police (Policía Federal) have foiled an alleged plot to assasinate the President of Mexico Felipe Calderón. Acting on intelligence gathered over a year the Federal Police arrested five drug cartel members on Sunday and publicly paraded their captives and a number of weapons ,including automatic rifles, on Monday. Speaking during a summit of North American leaders Calderón played down the threats on his life, saying that the cartels are being destroyed by his policies.

Some 11000 have died since President Calderón’s took office in 2006 and made the war on drugs a cornerstone of his administration.


  • “Drug cartel allegedly plotted to kill Mexican leader” — CNN, August 11, 2009
  • “Mexican police foil drug cartel plot to kill president” —  August 11, 2009
  • Julie Watson. “Mexico: Suspect plotted to kill president” — Associated Press, August 10, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced by a court in Burma to a further three years of house arrest for violating the terms of her previous sentence. However her sentence was immediately commuted to 18 months on the orders of Burmese head of state Senior-General Than Shwe out of respect for her father General Aung San and out of a desire for “national reconciliation”.

The period of her arrest will prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the general elections scheduled for 2010. The sentence was immediately condemned by Western leaders, and breaking from their usual silence, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) through its current chair Thailand issued a statement expressing disappointment. The ASEAN statement and talk of further European Union and United States sanctions are unlikely to have any impact on Southeast Asian country given the support of India and China.

The Chinese issued a statement calling for the world to respect Burmese sovereignty and laws, and is seen as an indication that China, a veto power will not support any United Nations actions.

John Yettaw whose unauthorised visit led to Aung San Suu Kyi’s prosecution has himself been sentenced to seven years imprisonment, four of which will be for hard labour.


  • “Asian regrets at Suu Kyi verdict” — BBC Online, August 12,2009
  • Li. “Myanmar gov’t gives reasons to commute Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentence” — Xinhua News Agency, August 12, 2009

Four employees of the Rio Tinto Group have been formally arrested in China on charges of bribery and using improper practises in its negotiations with Chinese companies. The Chinese accuse the men of improperly learning the negotiating position of Chinese companies wishing to buy iron ore, and through this charging 700 billion yuan (US$102.46 billion) more then they would otherwise have been able to

The four were initially held on espionage charges and have been held since early July. The formal charges allows the Chinese authorities to hold the four a further seven months as it prepares its case against them. Their arrests followed the collapse of an attempted by Chinese owned Chinalco to raise its stake in the Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto Group to 18%.


  • Anne Barrowclough. “Rio Tinto China executives charged with bribery” — The Times, August 12, 2009
  • “Watchdog on secrets: Rio caused “huge loss”” — Xinhua News Agency, August 10, 2009
  • “A souring relationship” — The Economist, August 10, 2009

Michael Jackson will be the star of a film to be released on October 28, some four months after his death. The film will be primarily cut from footage of Jackson rehearsing for the series of concerts that would have taken place at the O2 in London, but will also feature interviews with Jackson’s family and friends.

The film becomes possible after AEG Live, the promoter of the O2 concerts, reached an US$60 million agreement with Columbia Pictures for over 100 hours of footage of Jackson preparing for his swan song.

“He was the architect of ‘This is it‘, and we were his builders…” said Kenny Ortega, Jackson’s collaborator on the project “…it was clear that he was on his way to another theatrical triumph.”


  • Rosie Swash. “Michael Jackson film gets October release date” — The Guardian, August 11, 2009
  • “Michael Jackson rehearsal film set for worldwide cinematic release” — New Musical Express, August 11, 2009

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By Madison Lockwood

Google has taken some imaginative steps towards becoming an online library. They have a Library Project underway with several major libraries to, in essence, reproduce their “card catalogues” that provide the essentials on books, authors, publishers and content.

They have developed a Google Book Search tool within their site that allows you to search for books with content that matches your search terms. At a minimum, that will get you an author, title and publisher along with some basic information about the book.

If the book is published or written by a member of Google’s newly established literary Partner Program, your search will also produce a few pages of text from that book. The pitch to publishers and authors for this feature is that Google can be an excellent marketing tool for new publications. Based on the experience that musicians have had with MySpace, they may have an excellent point. In any case, you’ll be provided with links to bookstores that stock the book. If the book is old enough to be out of copyright, the entire text will be available on Google.

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The Functions

There are several useful functions built into Google’s new literary venture. If text from the book is available, you can browse through several pages to see if it’s what you’re looking for. You can also initiate a new search within the book. There is an option to search the web for reviews of the book, should there be any available online.

Although it does not appear to be activated yet, Google intends to have Library Links for as many books as possible in its catalogue. Clicking on that option – and presumably, entering a Zip Code or other local identification – will provide information on a local library that has the book on its shelves. You can also click a button that will provide more information on the publisher, the publisher’s website and additional titles from the company.

Public Domain

The books out of copyright, or in the “public domain,” generally include domestic works published before 1923. Titles that originated in other countries are available according to the copyright laws of that nation. Books that have been published and then reissued with new material are treated as being copyrighted at the later date. Google is taking a cautious approach to protecting the rights of authors and publishers. But for all of that, it is an audacious undertaking.

The goal is to provide an “enhanced card catalogue of the world’s books” online. Further, Google would like to make this a topical feature by providing introductory presentations on books written or published by its Partners. Finally, Google intends to provide the full text on books that are in the public domain. Just how they intend to get all that copy into their servers has not been made clear; there have been a fair collection of publications issued since Gutenberg created type. Nevertheless, you’ve got to admire the commitment of resources that the project requires. If they are successful in building the database of classics and out-of-print texts they will be providing a significant service to students, amateur historians and literary addicts of every persuasion.

About the Author: Madison Lockwood is a customer relations associate, specializing in small business development, for Apollo Hosting. Apollo Hosting provides website hosting, ecommerce hosting, vps hosting, and web design services to a wide range of customers.

Source: isnare.com

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Indonesian authorities investigate after pornographic film screened on billboard in Jakarta

Monday, October 3, 2016

Authorities in Indonesia initiated an investigation after a pornographic film was illicitly screened on a 24-square-meter (roughly 260-square-foot) LED billboard in the capital city of Jakarta on Friday, in full view of rush hour commuters.

The film, depicting a couple engaged in explicit sexual activity, appeared on the screen for several minutes — five, according to BBC News — during which time passerby took the opportunity to film the display and upload it onto the Internet. Following complaints to the South Jakarta Communications and Information Agency, authorities cut power to the billboard at about 2:45 p.m. to stop the screening.

According to a report on Saturday by Agence France-Presse, the film, identified as Japanese erotica titled Watch Tokyo Hot, was believed to have been transmitted to the billboard by a personal computer. Awi Setiyono, head of public relations for the police, said the investigative team for the incident includes a cyber crime unit, with the intention of determining whether the billboard was hacked.

Lestari Ady Wiryono, head of public information for South Jakarta, stated “The South Jakarta administration takes this matter seriously”. She said on Friday she had no information on the culprits or the source of the film. “We received the report and we immediately severed the electricity to there”, she said according to the Daily Mirror.

The billboard, located in close proximity to the office of the South Jakarta mayor, is owned by PT. Matapena Komunika Advertama, a private company, while content screened on it is the responsibility of PT. Transito Adiman Jati Transito Adverstising, according to The Jakarta Post. According to Lestari, following the incident, staff from her office along with the investigating cyber crime unit visited PT. Transito’s offices to gather information relating to the affected billboard.

The Indonesian government blocks access to pornographic websites in the country, whilst also subjecting scenes of romance in public broadcasts to heavy censorship. Under a 2015 decree, the government subjects content shown on billboards to standards of “public ethics, aesthetics, public order, decency, security and the environment”.

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Wikinews interviews Dr Thomas Scotto and Dr Steve Hewitt about potential US military intervention in Syria

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

File:Tom scotto.jpg

The United States President, Barack Obama, announced on Saturday he was seeking Congressional authorisation for military intervention in Syria.

Wikinews interviewed Professor of Government Dr. Thomas Scotto from the UK’s University of Essex and Senior Lecturer in American and Canadian Studies Dr. Steve Hewitt from the UK’s University of Birmingham about the proposed military intervention by the USA in Syria.

((Wikinews)) What is your job role?

Dr. Thomas Scotto: I am a Professor of Government, teaching courses in quantitative methods, public opinion, political behaviour, and American Politics. I have been at Essex since January, 2007. I am the Principal Investigator of a major ESRC grant on public opinion on foreign policy attitudes in five nations (Great Britain, United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy).
Dr. Steve Hewitt: Dr. Steve Hewitt, Senior Lecturer in American and Canadian Studies [at the University of Birmingham].

((WN)) The Republican speaker John Boehner is endorsing Barack Obama’s strategy, do you think this will lead to Congress authorising military intervention?

TS: Ultimately, I believe that the President will succeed, but I doubt it will be a neat voter — there will be a significant number of Democrats and Republicans who do not fall into line and vote against intervention.
I think the real story is that in the past two weeks, we have seen an amazing shift in how the Executives of the United States (President Obama) and the United Kingdom (Prime Minister Cameron) execute foreign policy. In the post-War period, committing the nation to take military action was seen as the prerogative of the President and Prime Minister, with the legislatures of both countries providing, at best, weak oversight.
In the United States, there is the War Powers Act and the authorisation of the first Gulf War, but the President’s authority was rarely challenged nor was it really believed that the President needed to consult Congress. In the UK, you would have to go back to the late 1700s to find the last time a Prime Minister was truly rebuffed on a matter of military intervention.
Why is that? I think it’s war fatigue on the part of the public and the average member of the UK Parliament and the US Congress. A significant number of those sitting on the backbenches of Parliament and in the Congress are thinking of balancing their nations’ budgets in times of fiscal austerity, and they have ties to constituencies, which don’t want to see their country shed blood and treasure in another prolonged conflict in the Middle East where the backgrounds of the rebel groups the US and UK are supporting is not well defined and the end goals are uncertain.
SH: Not necessarily. Boehner has not been able to carry Republicans in the past. His being onside increases the chances of authorization but it doesn’t make it inevitable.

((WN)) Is the US general public in support of taking military intervention in Syria?

TS: No, not at all. We’ve polled a representative sample of the American public in June of 2012, February of 2013, and this summer. Support for intervention in Syria has not moved. In our surveys fewer than 1 [in] 5 respondents were open to the idea of sending American ground troops into Syria. This was true regardless whether their aim was to provide humanitarian assistance or topple al-Assad. There are also low levels of support for arming the rebels. What is amazing is that, despite the reported use of chemical weapons and the deaths and displacement of 100,000s of Syrians, there has been little change in support levels over the time period we’ve been in the field with our surveys.
SH: No, clearly the American public is not in favour of intervening in Syria. About 60% are opposed in the latest poll.

((WN)) The British Parliament voted against military intervention in Syria, do you think this has led Obama to put a vote to Congress?

TS: I think Obama wants Congress to own this. Some in Congress believe that the United States would be doing too little if it only carried out limited missile strikes to punish al-Assad. Other Members are dead set against intervention of any type. The President was finding it impossible to please everyone, and instead, basically said sort out what you want me to do. It is an amazing turn of events where the President might be constraining himself in terms of the response he could take. Obama’s decision may have ramifications for Executive-Legislative relations in the US for years to come.
SH:That may have played a role but it is still not clear why President Obama has taken this course. It may also be the case that he is looking to share the political risk that goes with attacking with Republicans and Congress in general.

((WN)) After more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, does the US general public feel disillusioned in taking military action?

TS: Yes, definitely. Less than half of the American public believes the Iraq war was a success, and we have found that those who believe that the previous conflicts in the Middle East were a failure are likely to be those opposing action against Syria. So many people think the Iraq and Afghanistan interventions cost too much and did little good — it’s really weighing on the public’s mood at this time.
SH: Yes, there clearly is fatigue in relation to interventions and the lack of clear resolutions of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

((WN)) Do you think military intervention in Syria will affect Russia–United States relations?

TS: It is hard to say — in the short term, yes. In the long term, it really depends on how Putin sees the long term interests of himself and his nation vis-à-vis the United States and America’s western allies.
SH: Yes, although relations are already tense. How extensive any attack by the US on Syria will determine the full impact on US–Russia relations.
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By Rakesh Gaikwad

Curtains are the traditional window dressing used in homes throughout the UK. They are either used on their own as a complete window treatment or combined with blinds to achieve different design concepts and styles. Windows of any size or shape can successfully dressed with a huge variety of different styles of curtain fabrics.

Fashionable design ideas incorporate the used of organza, silks and faux silks to provide a delicate and sheer window covering which are typically used to cover the window and beyond, being left to fall and cascade into gentle puddles of fabric folds on the floor. While these fabrics do not offer any heat insulation they do lend themselves to providing privacy during the daytime. When combined with a roller blind fitted inside of the window recess total privacy can be achieved. These delicate looking fabrics are available in many different colours and patterned designs. For a real sexy boudoir look black and silver voile curtains can transform a bedroom, the curtains can also be used to provide excellent drapes for a bed canopy, this not only looks sensuous by providing intimate privacy but is also the ideal way to keep unwanted insects way during the warm summer months.

Heavy weight curtains made from Damask and Jacquard provide elegant curtains to suit both traditional and modern homes. When made with goblet or deep pleated headings they fall into graceful folds which exude elegance and style. These fabrics are available in a wide range of colours in both plain and patterned designs, many stores offer a free samples on fabrics such as these to enable the right choices to be made before buying. Having samples enables not only colour matches to be made by also provides the opportunity to feel the quality and texture of the fabric.

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Natural fabrics are a popular choice of curtains which are generally imported into the UK, they provide the most natural, neutral warm tones and textures offering exceptional quality at affordable prices which compliment both traditional and modern home interior design styles.

Ready made curtain offer the perfect solution in providing an immediate window dressing which merely needs to hung at the window. There are huge choices in plain and patterned ready made curtains and a wide variety of different weights, textures and headings to provide a ready made curtain to suit every room in a home.

Using a curtain lining can offer both extra heat insulation and prevent light penetration, lined curtains also hang more effectively as the lining helps them to retain their shape and folds. If total darkness is required blackout linings can be added to the majority of curtains.

The headings chosen will be dependant on personal choice and the weight of the curtain fabric. A modern and contemporary curtain heading is metal eye-lets or tab tops. Tab tops are ideal for curtains made from lightweight fabrics whereas eye-lets provide a robust heading for medium and heavyweight curtains. Modern curtains made from fabrics such as corduroy, faux leathers and faux suede look striking with an metal eye-let heading.

About the Author: Terry’s Fabrics has a variety of window dressings such as curtains to style the windows of your office or home.

Source: isnare.com

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New book links Bonds, Giambi and Sheffield to BALCO

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The new book Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams of The San Francisco Chronicle, is being released today. The authors not only implicate professional baseball celebrity Barry Bonds in the use of performance-enhancing drugs, but also say Gary Sheffield received human growth hormone and testosterone from Greg Anderson, Bonds’s personal trainer.

The book goes on to claim that Jason Giambi also took performance-enhancing drugs from Anderson. Bonds continues to insist that he did not realize his trainer was giving him steriods. He claimed in his grand jury testimony that he thought he was receiving flaxseed oil and an arthritis salve. Sheffield’s response to the claims was quite simple: when asked if the allegations made against him were true, his response was “Nope.”

Despite the book’s accusations of Sheffield and Giambi, it centers around Bonds and the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative or BALCO, Victor Conte Jr. Conte is currently serving four months in prison for distribution of steriods and money laundering. It appears that the steroid controversy concerning Bonds will only intensify as he continues to march on towards the career home runs record, one of baseball’s most sacred records.

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Telegraph publishes letter from 300 business leaders who back UK leaving EU

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A letter from more than 300 business leaders was published on Sunday in The Telegraph in support of the United Kingdom (UK) voting to leave the European Union (EU) in the EU referendum next month.

The signators, writing in a personal capacity, are connected with businesses of small to medium size. This is in contrast to multiple, high-profile, supporters of Britain Stronger in Europe, the official campaign to stay in Europe. This support has included financial donations from companies such as JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. Those supporting a vote to leave the EU have previously claimed the campaign to remain is only supported by big business.

The Telegraph suggested the letter would be interpreted as a response to last week’s warnings from the International Monetary Fund and Bank of England that voting to leave the EU would have negative consequences for Britain’s economy. These institutions warned that the UK leaving the EU would increase uncertainty as new trade agreements were negotiated, and cause a fall in the value of the pound sterling. One of the signatories, Lord Farmer, has also stated the EU will still want to trade with the UK, and has “no reason to put up barriers.”

The letter’s publishing coincides with that of research from Vote Leave stating UK exports to the EU have performed worse over the last fifteen years than any other EU country. Vote Leave argue this shows “the ‘single market’ has failed British exporters”.

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Gatlinburg’s Top 5 Family Friendly Hiking Trails

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Gatlinburg’s Top 5 Family-Friendly Hiking Trails


Brad Work

The Smokey Mountains gives walkers and backpackers a wide variety of hiking opportunities all through the park. Together with 850 miles of trails obtainable ranging in varying degrees of difficulty from simple and obtainable for wheel chairs or strollers and requires a hour to an hour, to a pretty difficult trek involving steep mountaineering with water crossings, and which require a permit for back-country hiking as they take 7 days to accomplish. The Smokey Mountains Park is a hiker/backpacker/nature seeker’s dream. Gatlinburg has its benefit of sitting in this hiker’s wonderland with countless trail-heads just beyond the town.

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These kinds of main 5 family-friendly climbing trails have already been rated by many factors. The degree of complexity to transverse the path, duration of the trail, nature experience available, and also sites over the path, popularity of the trek, accessibility to parking at trails head and accessibility to restrooms have all been taken into consideration. 1. The Gatlinburg Trail holds number one location for being family-friendly. This is actually the only trail in the Great Smokey Mountains besides the Oconaluftee River Trail in North Carolina to permit pet dogs on the trek. A simple walk of 1.9 miles from Gatlinburg to the Sugarlands Visitors Centre or 3.8 miles round trip, this trail is popular with joggers, backpackers, and bicyclist. It’s a level route which winds next to the Little Pigeon River with the woodland and goes over Cataract Falls. 2. Clingman’s Dome Tower is an easy 2 mile round trip paved trail which is open to strollers and wheel chairs. Simply no dogs and cats allowed. The access from Clingman’s Dome Road parking area is approximately 22 miles away from Gatlinburg. You can find restrooms and seats obtainable along the trail route. A large paved ramp leads up to the domed tower making it easy to get at. This trail’s peak certainly is the second highest peak eastern side of the Mississippi River and provides an outstanding view from the dome. 3. Baskin Creek Falls starts with a brief and easy climb giving landscapes of Gatlinburg as you go along. A three mile round trip hike to a stunning 25 feet waterfall, this trail is not as popular as many of the others. It is a fantastic trek to leave packed areas and provides an enticingly stunning area for backpackers to stop for a refreshments or to sleep. 4. Grotto Falls around the Trillium Gap Trail is a 2.4 mile round trip hike through the hemlock woodland and an range of wild plants towards the Grotto Falls. This falls is the only 1 in the Great Smokey Mountains Park which hikers can actually stroll behind. Seeing the water and hearing it roar as it cascades in front of you is definitely an encounter that’s not soon ignored and worth the effort of hiking this trek. Having access to this trek is from the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. 5. Alum Cave also comes in at number 5 for family-friendly paths in the Gatlinburg spot. Even though this trail is a more difficult trail and is longer in length than the others on the list, it’s the one which is worth the time as well as energy to stroll it. At 4.4 miles it covers a region including the Arch Rock and Inspiration Point. The trek basically extends underneath the Arch Rock and then steps designed into the mountain lead to the the top of the arch. Past the arch the trail extend to the the Point and to the exact concaved bluff often known as Alum Cave. This cave is the location of Epsom salt mining from 1838-1854 and so the site of saltpeter mining by the Confederate Army during the Civil War. In a level of 4955 ft. The spot from this vantage position pay back all who stroll into it. Whether or not a passionate walker or a sight seeing family, Gatlinburg presents trails for everyone. The spectacular sweetness of the Smokey Mountains is noticed all through each walking trail path.

One would need some rest in a

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after a long day of hiking. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has over 850+ miles of trails. Choosing

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makes a great starting point for trails.

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With US mid-term elections fast approaching, three prominent Democrats announce retirement

With US mid-term elections fast approaching, three prominent Democrats announce retirement
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

With this year’s November midterm elections fast approaching, three prominent United States Democrats announced their plans for retirement from public service on Wednesday.

Powerful and influential—yet controversial for his alleged close ties to the financial sector and his handling of last year’s bailout—Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut announced that he would not be seeking a sixth term this year.

In a speech to his supporters in East Haddam, Connecticut, the sixty-five-year-old senior senator—with his family at his side—said, “I have been a Connecticut senator for thirty years. I’m very proud of the job I’ve done and the results delivered. But none of us is irreplaceable. None of us is indispensable.”

He then went on to say, “Over the past twelve months, I’ve managed four major pieces of legislation through the United States Congress, served as chair and acting chair of two major Senate committees, placing me at the center of the two most important issues of our time—health care and reform of financial services.”

In addition to highlighting some personal travails, Dodd alluded to his precarious political situation, “I lost a beloved sister in July, and in August, Ted Kennedy. I battled cancer over the summer, and in the midst of all of this, found myself in the toughest political shape of my career.”

Despite this, Dodd adamantly maintained that none of the above reasons were the causes for his retirement. He said that his reasons were more “personal,” and that his retirement would hopefully give him a much-wanted opportunity to spend more time with his family.

Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota announced that he would not run for re-election this year either.

“Although I still have a passion for public service and enjoy my work in the Senate, I have other interests and I have other things I would like to pursue outside of public life,” said the sixty-seven-year-old, three-term senator who said he came to this decision after discussing his future with his immediate family over Christmas.

Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter announced that he too would not seek a second term. The fifty-three-year-old freshman governor said that although he felt his race was “absolutely winnable,” after some deep “soul searching,” he realized that he truly wanted to retire from politics nonetheless. This due to the fact that he felt his main priority should be to be a better husband to his wife as well as a better father to their four children.

When asked to comment on Senator Dodd’s retirement on behalf of the Administration, Vice President Joseph Biden said Dodd would “be long recognized as one of the most significant senators of my generation.”

He furthermore stated, “I believe the nation will miss his wisdom, wit and compassion. I count myself lucky because I know he’s not going too far and will always be a source of advice and counsel.”

Biden gave similar comments and expressed like sentiments about the retirement of his other two Democratic colleagues as well.

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At least two die in 15-truck pileup in California

At least two die in 15-truck pileup in California
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

At least two people have died and at least eight to ten were injured after two semi trucks collided in a truck tunnel on Interstate 5 (Newhall Pass) between Los Angeles and Santa Clarita California, United States, causing the tunnel to be completely shut down on both north and southbound lanes.

At approximately 11:00 p.m. (pacific time), two semi trucks collided and at least 13 other trucks smashed into the wreckage causing a massive fire. Firefighters are using foam to control the flames, which could take several hours to put out.

Officials say that the debris could take a day or more to remove and that a full inspection will have to be done on the tunnel before it can be used again because officials say that the structure of the tunnel has been compromised.

“It has impacted the structural stability of the tunnel,” said John Tripp the Fire Chief for Los Angeles County who also said that there may be more people trapped in the wreckage.

“We’re going to have to do a very methodical search. There could be unfortunately more people that were not able to escape,” added Tripp.

The tunnel is 200 feet long.

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