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Swedish nuclear reactors shut down over safety concerns

Saturday, August 5, 2006

 Correction — August 14, 2006 This article reports that the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant reactor cooling systems failed. This is incorrect. Two of the four emergency diesel generators supplying power to the plant failed to start as expected, during a reactor shut down. The emergency cooling system, which functioned normally was sufficient to meet the reactor’s needs. Wikinews apologises for the error 

Three of Sweden’s ten nuclear reactors have been shut down due to safety concerns following an incident last week at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant, in which the reactor cooling systems failed. The reactor has since been shut down there. After the incident, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, SKI asked all the nuclear power plants to demonstrate that the same failure could not happen in them. On Wednesday, two more reactors at Oskarshamn were shut down after the operator said their safety could not be guaranteed.

Last week’s incident at the Forsmark plant was triggered by a short circuit that cut power to the reactor cooling system. Two of the four backup generators also failed to start, but the remaining two worked and were sufficient to meet the plant’s needs. Greenpeace reports that the fault in the backup power systems were traced to new equipment installed in 1993.

The spokesman of the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate Anders Bredfell denied that there was any danger of a meltdown, adding that there was also a backup gas turbine to power the cooling system in an emergency.

However, Lars-Olov Höglund, who was responsible for the nuclear plant Forsmark for many years, said the incident was the most dangerous one since Chernobyl and Three Mile island, and that a meltdown was avoided only by pure luck. His views have however been questioned as he is involved in litigation with the Swedish nuclear industry and is known as an outspoken nuclear critic. Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology as well as the personnel at the power plant were critical of Höglunds’ view.

Speaking to BBC News, SKI spokesman Anders Bredfell said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was informed of the incident as required and that the incident classes as a ‘2’ in the 0-7 scale used by the IAEA to assess the severity of the incident.

Another reactor in Forsmark and a fifth at Ringhals nuclear power plant have been offline due to planned maintenance work. With five of its ten reactors down, Sweden’s power generation capacity is down by almost a fifth.

The environmental group Greenpeace called on the government to shut down all reactors and probe whether the fault was a generic one. The Green Party has called for an independent investigation of the incident. Sweden is scheduled to retire all its nuclear power plants in the next few decades, as decided by a referendum in 1980.

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If you have been hurt in an accident and are no longer capable of supporting your family, you may be able to qualify for Disability Insurance benefits. Of course, this isn’t something that just happens. You are going to have to jump through a lot of hoops to get the benefits that you are entitled to. Because of this, you are going to want to hire someone to represent you. Your lawyer will be glad to meet up with you in his business office for a no-obligation consultation appointment. This will give him the opportunity to talk with you about the different things that you can expect.

Sometimes, qualifying for disability benefits can take several months. However, it is well worth it when you can receive a reasonable amount of money to pay some of your bills and support your family. Your Disability Insurance will also protect you when it comes to your medical bills. Finally, you will be able to get the medical attention that you need for your health problems. Your lawyer is going to show you what you need to do to get started with this process as soon as possible.

You have a lot going on right now, and you need someone to assist you through this process. It is understandable that you are confused. This is one of many reasons why you want someone to assist you with filling out your application. Your lawyer will be there until after you have gone to court. If you are worried about how you are going to pay your lawyer, you will be pleased to know that you won’t have to pay any money unless you win. Even then, you won’t have to pay any money out of your pocket because your lawyer will automatically take the money from your settlement. It works out well for everyone involved. Of course, you are going to need your doctor to verify the fact that you have health problems that prevent you from working. If you can do this, you should have no problems getting the benefits that you deserve. Get started with the necessary paperwork today.

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Barry Bonds guilty of obstruction

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Barry Bonds, a United States baseball player, has been found guilty of one count of obstructing justice for giving an evasive answer to a federal grand jury under oath when asked whether he had ever received drugs necessitating a syringe.

The judge declared a mistrial on three other obstruction of justice counts, the three charges that Bonds made false statements when he said to a grand jury in December 2003 that he never knowingly used steroids or human growth hormones given to him by his personal trainer, and that he permitted only doctors to give him injections.

The charge that Bonds was convicted of does not mention steroids.

The conviction comes after a seven year prosecution of Bonds, stemming from the investigation of Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BELCO) begun in 2002. Bonds appeared in an advertisement for BELCO which was reportedly selling designer steroids and other drug paraphernalia to professional athletes. Thirty athletes were called to answer questions before the grand jury. Bonds had been given immunity for his testimony.

“This case is about upholding one of the most fundamental principles in our system of justice—the obligation of every witness to provide truthful and direct testimony in judicial proceedings,” said federal prosecutor Melinda Haag. “In the United States, taking an oath and promising to testify truthfully is a serious matter. We cannot ignore those who choose instead to obstruct justice. We will decide whether to seek a retrial of the defendant on the remaining counts as soon as possible.”

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An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

As families fled their homes in the early morning hours on Thursday October 26, there was no warning. The Esperanza Fire southeast of Los Angeles and West of Palm Springs, California, had ballooned under the influence of Santa Ana winds to more than 19,000 acres as of the morning of October 27. No time to get the animals, no time for crates or even a leash. Sadly, owners left behind not only their horses, lamas, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, but also their dogs and cats.

Many of the families who did manage to evacuate their pets found themselves in the parking lot at the Fellowship in the Pass Church Red Cross Shelter where a MuttShack Animal Rescue team caught up with them.

Pam Anderson, Director of the emergency Red Cross shelter said that many people with animals had come and left.

The air was thick with smoke, and ash was raining down on the parking lot where dog owners, not able to take their dogs into the shelter were camping out in pup tents andin their cars.

Those who could afford it checked themselves into pet friendly hotels in nearby towns.

Some were prepared. Jane Garner, a small dog breeder was able to get all her animals out, and had set up her puppy runs alongside her RV in the parking lot. Others were not doing too well, having left home without as much as a leash.

The same scenario played out at the Red Cross shelter at Hemet High School. Animals were being boarded in vans, trailers and cars and small travel crates.

When MuttShack Animal Rescue arrived, a small fracas had sent several dogs off in different directions, running out of the school parking lot down busy streets necessitating an instant rescue response.

The Incident Command for the Esperanza Animals, Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto welcomed MuttShack‘s offer to help at the shelters.

Ramona Humane Society had recently published a notice in their Newsletter about the newly passed “PETS Act”and warned owners not wait until a major disaster such as an earthquake or fireto prepare. “Be proactive to ensure that your pet will be taken care of.”

MuttShack and PetSmart Charities set up ad hoc facilities for the animals at both shelters.

The Red Cross shelter, run by Madison Burtchaell of the Orange County Red Cross was very accommodating about allowing a small emergency pet shelter adjacent to the School.

Barbara A. Fought of PetSmart Charities, an organization that works with animal welfare organizations and provide assistance in disasters, provided crates and emergency supplies.

MuttShack and Red Cross volunteers, Martin St. John, Tom Hamilton, and Steve Meissner helped assemble the crates to secure a safe environment for evacuated pets.

It was a great relief for evacuees who had camped out in the parking lot to finally leave their vehicles and relax at the shelter, setting up their cots to grab some sorely needed rest.

Firefighters and residents reported loss of wildlife and animals. The Esperanza fire burned 34 homes, consumed 40,000 acres and cost five Firefighters their lives before it was contained four days later on October 30. Firefighting operations cost nearly $10 million.

MuttShack Animal Rescue is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization active in disasters and dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and care of lost or discarded dogs, cats and other animals.

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German BND claims U.S. exaggerated Iraq WMD claims

Sunday, November 20, 2005

One of the most important arguments in the run-up to the Iraq war made by Colin Powell in his United Nations speech and President Bush in his State of the Union address was that Iraq had an active biological weapons program and possessed mobile biological weapons labs. According to an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, the main source for this information was an Iraqi defector codenamed Curveball who was a source for the German central intelligence agency BND.

Several German intelligence officials responsible for Curveball have now told the LA Times that the Bush administration and the CIA have repeatedly exaggerated his claims and ignored warnings of the BND that the source was unreliable. Recounting his reaction after seeing Powell’s United Nations speech one German intelligence officer said: “We were shocked. Mein Gott! We had always told them it was not proven…. It was not hard intelligence.” This corroborates reporting by the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit from 2003 and 2004 based on statements of unnamed senior German intelligence officials.

Nine months earlier, in May 2002, a fabricator warning was posted in Curveball’s file in U.S. intelligence databases. Powell was never warned that his United Nations speech contained material that both the DIA and CIA had determined was false, even though several people present at Powell’s CIA meetings were fully aware of this.

At this time German intelligence officers would not let the CIA meet directly with Curveball, but allowed a CIA doctor to draw blood samples. Questioning the validity of Curveball’s information in front of his CIA supervisor, the doctor was advised to “Keep in mind that this war is going to happen regardless of what Curveball said or didn’t say and the Powers That Be probably aren’t terribly interested in whether Curveball knows what he’s talking about.”

Shortly after Powell’s UN speech and several days before the invasion, United Nations weapons inspectors attempted to directly verify several key claims made by Curveball, but concluded that they were unsustainable. The White House insisted on its WMD claims based on Curveball’s information.

Even after the invasion, when more and more of Curveball’s accounts were shown to be pure fabrication, the CIA and the Bush administration relied on Curveball’s information. When U.S. forces discovered trucks with lab equipment and Curveball claimed that these were identical to the ones he has been reporting about, the CIA rushed to publish a White Paper claiming that these trucks were part of Saddam Hussein’s secret biological weapons program and Bush claimed publicly that “We found the weapons of mass destruction.” Several days later, twelve of the thirteen WMD experts who analyzed the trucks agreed that the equipment was not suited for biological weapons production, with the only dissenting voice coming from the author of the original White Paper.

The White Paper remains posted on the CIA website to this date, and President Bush has not yet retracted his statement that Iraq produced “germ warfare agents” made in his State of the Union address or his postwar assertions that “we found the weapons of mass destruction.”

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Briefly, the stock market functions like a shared market in which investors can purchase and sell shares of stock, or securities in and about individual companies.

The concept of the market itself is very similar to that of the futures market in that there are ongoing deals and transactions between buyers and sellers of securities, Stock Market Volatility and Alternative Strategies are mainly working in the stock market.

However, the stock market goes one step further by involving actual physical possession of the securities being bought and sold.

Let us now delve into how the stock market works. Stock trading happens every day, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. On the weekend, many small-cap companies go public by selling their stocks on the market.

This raises the overall stock prices. At the same time, certain institutional investors sell their holdings, creating an imbalance between the two groups. Ultimately, this affects the overall stock prices.

Therefore, now that you know how the stock market works, you are better equipped to understand how it will affect you in the future, especially in the future, say in the next eight years or so.

You may be able to anticipate some of the changes, like what does shorting a stock mean? such as shorting stock or leveraging to your advantage, but there will always be unforeseen consequences.

For example, if the economy begins to falter and foreclosures begin to increase nationwide, you may find yourself unable to keep up with all the transactions, which will ultimately influence the stock prices as well.

What is a Stock Market?

A stock market, equities market, or simply stock market is an establishment in which a company issues shares to the public for trading purposes.

These may also include securities listed in a public stock exchange – that is, a vast number of exchange traders who buy and sell shares of a given company’s stock, acting as buyers in a market.

In an equity stock market, there are many potential buyers as well as many potential sellers. There are so many options to buy stock like How to Buy Stock in Amazon? Most of buyer use this question, and recommended to buy stock through Amazon.

As the value of the company’s stock increases and decreases, the number of shares issued also declines.

In a sense, the stock market refers to the process by which shares are bought and sold in a securities exchange.

In a Stock Market, there are mainly two groups of investors: buyers and sellers. The buyers make an offer to purchase shares from the sellers, who then accept the offer and sell their shares in the open market to the buyers.

The sellers usually counter offers made by the buyers and sell their shares to the purchasers. At this point, all transactions take place under the market.

However, in a volatile market (one where prices may change rapidly), only the buyers participate in the buying and selling of the shares, and not the sellers.

Bear markets provide the opposite scenario of what is called bullish investing. In a bear market, it becomes harder to find quality buying opportunities and harder to find high-quality selling opportunities.

While this can be bad for new investors, it can also be great for long-term investors who have been making money for years in relatively stable markets, especially if they have already developed a record of accomplishment of investing and making money in bull markets.

So, although stock-market volatility may be a nuisance to bearish investors, it can be a boon to long-term investors who have done their research and know the ins and outs of how the markets work.

Can you Actually Make Money on the Stock Market?

Putting money into the stock market is well-worn financial advice, even though it is not particularly new: Investing in shares is probably one of the most solid moves you can take toward establishing long-term wealth.

The trouble is that many people have a tough time figuring out how to buy good, low-priced stocks with top-notch return on investment potential. They do not know where to look, what to look for, or what questions to ask like What Do Investment Bankers Do?

Fortunately, putting money into the stock market is really one of the easiest things you can ever do.

In the age of high technology and a highly competitive global economy, it is amazing that there are still people out there who do not know how to invest in the stock market.

The reality is that the World Wide Web provides some incredible tools for doing just that. You can use it to research potential companies, determine financials, learn about management teams, and find out about the company’s recent history.

Once you have a firm grasp on the basics, you can open a practice account and study various investments and market trends to see what works and what does not.

You will also need to figure out how to identify good stock buys and bad stock picks, since there will be some losses and winners as you wade through the fluctuations of shares of almost any given company.

One of the smartest ways to build your investment portfolio (LEPO) is to pick out companies with promising futures, and invest in those stocks once they start rising.

That way, you will have a steady stream of income that is ready to plough into other areas if things turn south. Once you get this kind of downline going, it is difficult to stop them from earning money and building wealth on the stock market.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Don Davies running in Vancouver Kingsway

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party candidate Don Davies is standing for election in the riding of Vancouver Kingsway.

A lawyer, he has spent the last 25 years fighting for human rights. A two-time student government representative, Davies was involved in the anti-apartheid, third world and peace movements. Admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1989, Davies and family moved to Vancouver in 1991, where he became the Director of Legal Resources for Teamsters Canada (Local 31), the next year. He is a long-time volunteer for children’s charity Variety, is Chair of the Parent Advisory Council at Mount Pleasant school, and a Director of the Meridian Cultural Society, among other things.

Wikinews contacted Don Davies, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

The riding is vacant, after Conservative Minister of International Trade David Emerson’s resignation. Emerson was elected in 2004 as a Liberal, serving as the Minister of Industry. Two weeks after re-election in 2006, he crossed the floor to join then-new Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who had won a minority government. Emerson was the first MP in Canadian history to cross the floor before a new government was sworn in. He has stepped down, after pressure from other parties.

Besides Davies, major party candidates include Liberal Wendy Yuan, Conservative Salomon Rayek, and Green Doug Warkentin. Also putting their hat in the ring are Matt Kadioglu (Libertarian), Kimball Cariou (Communist), and Donna Peterson (Marxist-Leninist).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

This Saturday at 11 am, Davies will host NDP leader Jack Layton in the Commodore Ballroom at “rally4change”.

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September

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Australia sends more troops to Afghanistan

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Australia sends more troops to Afghanistan
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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Australian government has confirmed it will send an extra 200 troops to Afghanistan as part of a security and reconstruction team. Prime Minister John Howard says troops will leave from late July and will spend about two years in Afghanistan separate from the Special Forces and commandos already serving there. In a press conference in Canberra today, Mr Howard said the deployment was “further evidence of the government’s ongoing commitment to assist the people of Afghanistan in consolidating their embrace of democracy and resisting any attempt on the part of the Taliban to come back.”

The Australian Greens oppose the deployment of new troops. In a press release, Senator Bob Brown voiced his opinion on the matter, and said the following about Australia’s deployment: “The announcement that Australia will be sending 200 more troops to Afghanistan comes hard on the heels of the Bush administration announcing the withdrawal of 3000 troops from the same theatre,” he said. “Without the US withdrawal there would be no Australian deployment. This is John Howard once again using the ADF to meet the Bush administration’s political shortcomings. Our troops should be kept at home.”

“The ADF contribution will be a mixed security and reconstruction taskforce of approximately 200 personnel and will be deployed over a period of two years,” Howard told reporters. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) troops will be deployed from late July and work alongside Dutch soldiers as part of a NATO force. The extra 200 troops will bring the number of ADF personnel to more than 500.

Australia sent 1,550 troops to Afghanistan in 2001, including special forces, to join the U.S.-led strikes against the Taliban regime. Australia’s only fatality in Afghanistan came in February 2002 when a soldier was killed after his vehicle hit a land mine. Violence has intensified in Afghanistan in recent months, particularly in the south and east, with a wave of raids, roadside and suicide bombings killing dozens of people.

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September

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California governor signs new state budget, eligible Californians to get stimulus payments

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California governor signs new state budget, eligible Californians to get stimulus payments
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Thursday, July 15, 2021

On Monday night, governor of the U.S. state of California Gavin Newsom signed a new US$262.6 billion budget bill for the state into law, with US$8.1 billion reserved for US$600 direct stimulus payments to Californians to aid in California’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill for the budget, SB 129, and the bill for the stimulus payments, SB 139, both passed both houses of the California Legislature for this fiscial year.

The payments, dubbed the Golden State Stimulus II, are set to be paid out to eligible California taxpaying residents beginning in September. To be eligible, residents must have filed a state tax return for last year, not be someone’s dependent, and must have earned no more than US$75 thousand in wages last year.

Eligible Californians would get a one-time payment of US$600, and households with dependents would receive an additional US$500. Around two-thirds of Californians are expected to get a stimulus payment, according to the governor’s office. Newsom initially proposed the payments in May to aid the state’s economic recovery, as part of his “California Comeback Plan”.

Californians who already received a stimulus payment earlier in the year are not eligible for this second payment. An additional payment of US$500 is still available for those who claimed dependents on their returns.

The budget also provides for US$5.2 billion in renters’ aid for low-income residents and landlords, which would pay for all rent left unpaid during the COVID-19 crisis, and cover rent for several coming months. Overdue water and utility payments would also be covered by US$2 billion in funding.

An additional US$1.5 billion was for grant money intended for small businesses, with US$120 million in tax credits for businesses willing to relocate to California.

California had a budget surplus of nearly US$76 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In signing SB 129, Newsom line-item vetoed Section 19.55 of the bill concerning US$2.58 billion in appropriations to various funds “on a technical basis”, citing in an explanation appropriations covered under the section were superseded by the budget. In California, a governor may approve a bill passed by the Legislature with specific items related to the budget rejected. The Legislature can override this line-item veto with a two-thirds vote of both the Assembly and the Senate.

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September

2

Common Questions About Health Insurance Exchanges, Answered

However, there are some confusions regarding how the Exchanges will function. Some people are worried about specific aspects of health Exchanges such as how will Medicare application work in a health Exchange or how Exchanges will affect employee benefit management. This article provides easy answers to some questions. Just read through and understand how health Exchanges are set to alter the health insurance buying experience forever.Are health Exchanges the result of some rule or law?Yes, in March 2010, President Barack Obama signed the PPACA or the ACA or federal health care rule into a law. Since then, the healthcare reforms have been steadily spreading across the nation. 2013 is a landmark year as it will witness the creation of state health Exchanges across the nation. Some states might be slower in their efforts to establish the Exchanges but eventually, all states will have to abide by the law. Due to this law, many landmark changes have taken place. For instance, lifetime dollar limits on health plans have been removed and insurers can no longer say No to you on the basis of a pre-existing health condition.How many types of health insurance Exchanges are expected?There is some confusion in this matter but largely, three to four types of health insurance marketplaces or Exchanges will be seen. This includes the state Exchanges, the state-federal Exchanges and the federal Exchanges. Besides these, some of the states might collaborate to create regional Exchanges. Within a state, many smaller Exchanges can also exist. These are being called subsidiary Exchanges at the moment. Besides these basic types of Exchanges, you should also be aware about specialist Exchanges that will be found within the parent, state or federal Exchanges. For instance, Shop Exchange or the Small Business Health Options Program will be found for smaller employers, i.e. those employing less than 50 people. Private insurance firms are redesigning their portals, making them very similar to state Exchanges. These can be understood as Private Exchanges.How will the health care insurance Exchanges work?Basically, each Exchange is essentially an online marketplace designed to function like an online travel deals site. The idea is to provide consumers the freedom to browse, select, compare and buy health insurance in the most informed manner. For this purpose, Exchanges are likely to have many automated functions such as an insurance quote engine or a Medicare quote engine where based upon the basic details provided by you, your Medicare coverage or premium liability would be calculated within seconds. For better employee benefit management, employers are like to shop for group health insurance plans on the Shop Exchange.How will I gain information about the workings of an Exchange?This will be possible via a variety of options including a navigator program and assisters. These entities could be individuals or public bodies who would be enrolled to provide accurate information about different types of plans, Medicare eligibility enrollment, Medicaid or CHIP coverage, tax credits, subsidies and Exchange eligibility for individuals. The role of navigators and assisters is to bring-in the traditionally uninsured populations within the ambit of health insurance.

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