Sunday, August 26, 2007 Miami Dade Fire Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue Florida Task Force 1 Members were on the scene since last night. Search dogs worked the scene all night.

According to current reports, sometime early this morning, an apartment building in Brittons Hill, Barbados fell into a cave below.

Five family members are known to be trapped in the collapse, although reports have not be made as to whether these are the only individuals involved. Rescue workers, as well as several prominent politicians are currently on the scene; two cranes have been deployed to remove debris. Evacuation has occurred, with an extension of this area being discussed.

Miami Dade Police arrived on the scene late Sunday night and are now in a joint effort with the Barbados Defence Force, Barbados Fire Service and Royal Barbados Police Force to rescue possible survivors. Prime Minister Owen Arthur also stated that surveys are currently being conducted to determine the stability of the surrounding area, and only after these reports have been compiled will residents know whether they will be able to return to their homes.

A cadaver dog was sent into the cavern and has identified two areas where there are possible dead bodies. Sadly it is no longer a rescue mission but recovery one.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Prison officers in England and Wales are on strike today as part of a continuing dispute over pay rates with employers, the Ministry of Justice.

The Prison Officers’ Association (POA) announced the strike, the first in its history, at 0600 (BST) on the morning of the 29th of August, just an hour before it was due to start. As the morning progressed, officers at most public prisons across the two countries locked prisoners in their cells (a “lockdown”) and walked out, aiming to remain on strike until 0700 on the 30th.

The strike has been condemned by the Ministry of Justice, as a breach of the Industrial Relations Act, with Justice Secretary Jack Straw calling it “deeply regrettable and wholly unjustifiable”. Immediately following the announcement of the action, the Ministry commenced proceedings to gain a High Court injunction against the POA. Such an injunction was granted by Mr Justice Ramsey, who said that there was “overwhelming case” for it, after the court heard evidence that a Joint Industrial Relations Procedural Agreement, agreed to prevent industrial action, had been broken.

Despite the court proceedings, the strike continued largely unabated, and was expected to run its full course.

Inmates were at one point reported to have been seen on the roof of Liverpool Prison, however the situation was brought under control without any escapees.

In Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London, all 1,300 prisoners were being looked after by just eight governors, while at Cardiff, as prisoners, locked in their cells, shouted “You’re breaking the law” to the officers standing in the car park. As a result of the lack of staff, prisoners could not be transported to court, were fed in their cells, could not be visited and could not take part in any rehabilitation or community service courses. In addition, 900 prisoners had to be accommodated elsewhere, unable to be admitted to public prisons.

This evening, this strike was called off by the POA, who issued an order to all of its members to return to work, with further pay discussions expected to come on Friday.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Jan Nowak-Jeziora?ski, a Polish writer, journalist, legendary resistance fighter and an envoy between the commanders of the Home Army and the Polish government in exile, nicknamed Courier from Warsaw, the head of the Polish section of Radio Free Europe for a quarter of a century and an advisor to the US presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter died Thursday evening, January 20 in a hospital in his native Warsaw, Poland.

Jan Nowak-Jeziora?ski fought in the Polish Army during the Polish September Campaign in 1939 as an artillery NCO. He was taken prisoner of war by the Germans in Volhynia but managed to escape and returned to Warsaw. He quickly joined the Polish resistance and in 1940 became the main organiser of the Akcja N, a secret organisation preparing German-language newspapers and other propaganda material pretending to be official German publications, in order to wage psychological warfare against German troops.

He also served as an envoy between the commanders of the Home Army and the Polish government in exile and other allied governments. During one of such missions in July 1944, he arrived in Warsaw only a few days before the Warsaw Uprising broke out. During the Uprising he took an active part in the fights against the Germans and also organised the Polish radio that maintained contact with the Allied countries through daily broadcasts in Polish and English. Shortly before the capitulation of the Polish capital, he was ordered by the Polish commander-in-chief Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski to leave the city and find his way to London. He managed to evade being captured and reached Great Britain, bringing with him large quantities of documents and photos. For his bravery and his travels through the German-occupied Europe he was awarded with the Virtuti Militari, the highest Polish military medal. He also gained a nick-name Courier from Warsaw (Kurier z Warszawy), which he later used as a title of his memoirs.

After the war, Jan Nowak-Jeziora?ski stayed in the West, initially in London and then in Munich and Washington. Between 1948 and 1976 he was one of the most notable personalities of the Polish division of the BBC radio agency. In 1952 he also became the head of the Polish section of the Munich-based Radio Free Europe. Through his daily radio broadcasts he remained one of the most popular radio personalities, both in communist-held Poland and among the Polish diaspora in the West. After giving up his posts in 1976, he became one of the most prominent members of the Polish American Congress and headed the organisation between 1979 and 1996. He also worked as an advisor to the American National Security Agency. Through his contacts with many notable politicians in the USA, he was one of the proponents of Poland’s membership in NATO (achieved in 1999).

In the 1990s, he started his cooperation with the Polish Radio and wrote a series of broadcasts titled “Polska z oddali” (Poland from Distance). Since 1990 he was also present in the Polish Television as an author of monthly programmes. In July 2002 he returned to Warsaw for good. He was an active supporter of Poland’s entry into the European Union. Most of his books, published abroad as well as those published in Poland after 1989, were best-sellers and gained him even more popularity.

For his writings, he was awarded with some of the most prestigious Polish literary awards, including the Kisiel Award (1999), Ksawery Pruszy?ski Memorial Prize of the Polish Pen-Club (2001) and the Superwiktor award for tv personalities. In 2003 he was also awarded with the Cz?owiek Pojednania prize by the Polish Council of Christians and Jews for his part in the Polish-Jewish dialogue. Finally, he was made the doctor honoris causa of many Polish universities, including the Warsaw University, Jagiellonian University and his alma mater, the University in Pozna?.

He died in Warsaw at the age of 91 on the evening of Thursday, 20 January 2005. He subscribed all of his archives to the Ossolineum Institute. In the reports of his death all major Polish daily newspapers referred to him as the Polish hero and one of the last moral authorities.

By Audrey Okaneko

Many people like to add words to their scrapbooks. Words help to tell the story behind the picture. There are several ways to add words to your scrapbook pages.

One way to journal is through premade words and phrases. You can find stickers, diecuts and word cutouts, all with different phrases. You can also use alphabet sets to create words on your pages. One page I did has my daughter’s four high school pictures, one from each year. Down the middle of the page I put the letters DPHS. In 50 years, when she looks at the page, she’ll know those 4 pictures were her four high school pictures.

Other folks enjoy writing in their albums. If you are going to write on the pages, choose an ink color that matches the color theme of your page. You can write directly on the pages, or you can write on paper and then attach the paper right to your scrapbook page.

How much, or how little you journal is completely up to you. In some cases, I just wanted a year attached to my pages, so that my kids would have a general idea of how old they were at the time. In other cases I wanted a city name or building name to remind me of where I took the picture. In yet other instances I wanted to put people’s names and a little bit about the people in the pictures.

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I know some folks who included song lyrics or poems with their photos. They believe the song lyrics or poem truly tell the story of the photos on that particular page.

I have several photos of my own grandmother. On page one, I have just one photo of her, and then a lot of journaling, speaking of where she was born, what year she was born, where she grew up etc. On other pages, I put many photos of her, with very little journaling. It really depends on why you are making the album, who the album is for and what information you want to add with your photos that will determine how much journaling you’ll do.

If your children are young, or your grandchildren are young, it’s fun to ask them to write something each year and include that in the album so they can see their writing as they grow up.

Sometimes, if I have a lot to say, I’ll type it on acid free paper and then cut out what I’ve typed and add it to the page. Typed words will allow me to say a lot more than if I write the words.

Often, we want to include a photo or article from a newspaper on our scrapbook pages. My suggestion is to copy the article onto acid free paper, as the newspaper will yellow and crack with time. One friend has a son who was on the high school football game during his 4 years in high school. He was often written up in the newspaper. She copied every picture and story written about him and he now shares those stories with his own son.

Another technique I use with journaling to cut shapes; ovals, hearts etc. and then journal on those pieces of paper and then attach to my scrapbook page.

If you are making a scrapbook for a friend, it can be fun to share your thoughts, versus just telling a story. For example, maybe you and a friend had a girl’s night out and took some photos. You can share ‘I remember how much we laughed and laughed this night. My stomach hurt from us laughing so much’. This shares not only photos but you are also sharing yourself with your friend.

Acid free index cards are great for journaling. They are just the right size to write on and then attach to your scrapbooking pages.

There is no right or wrong way to journal. The key is to have something in words to help tell the story of your photo.

About the Author: Audrey Okaneko has been scrapbooking for several years now. You can reach her at or


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Thursday, November 8, 2007

India is the latest of the countries where the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) experiment has started. Children from the village of Khairat were given the opportunity to learn how to use the XO laptop. During the last year XO was distributed to children from Arahuay in Peru, Ban Samkha in Thailand, Cardal in Uruguay and Galadima in Nigeria. The OLPC team are, in their reports on the startup of the trials, delighted with how the laptop has improved access to information and ability to carry out educational activities. Thailand’s The Nation has praised the project, describing the children as “enthusiastic” and keen to attend school with their laptops.

Recent good news for the project sees Uruguay having ordered 100,000 of the machines which are to be given to children aged six to twelve. Should all go according to plan a further 300,000 machines will be purchased by 2009 to give one to every child in the country. As the first to order, Uruguay chose the OLPC XO laptop over its rival from Intel, the Classmate PC. In parallel with the delivery of the laptops network connectivity will be provided to schools involved in the project.

The remainder of this article is based on Carla G. Munroy’s Khairat Chronicle, which is available from the OLPC Wiki. Additional sources are listed at the end.


  • 1 India team
  • 2 Khairat
    • 2.1 The town school
  • 3 The workplace
  • 4 Marathi
  • 5 The teacher
  • 6 Older children, teenagers, and villagers
  • 7 The students
  • 8 Teacher session
  • 9 Parents’ meetings
  • 10 Grounding the server
  • 11 Every child at school
  • 12 Sources
  • 13 External links

Friday, October 10, 2008

The head of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, has called for a meeting to assess the trade finance situation, including the impact on developing countries. The meeting, which is schedule for November 12, will allow credit institutes and government officials to review the current trade credit situation.

“A number of WTO members, in particular developing countries, have flagged the problems they are facing in arranging trade financing,” wrote WTO Director-General Lamy.

“The purpose of our next meeting will be to review how the international market for trade-financing is faring in view of the current very difficult conditions on international financial markets,” he continued.

Credit is vital to trade with around 90 percent of the US$14 trillion in world trade financed by credit. While this market has done well compared to other credit markets, bankers are suggesting that problems might occur shortly. Rates on these trade loans have increased by 3 percent.

Developing countries have seen several recent years of positive growth but the effects of the global financial crisis on these countries have pushed growth levels down.

Lamy has asked that the heads of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and other regional development banks to attend. He also invited the five leading commercial banks in trade finance: Citigroup, Commerzbank, Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan Chase, and HSBC.

Lamy also said that work on the Doha Development Round of trade is continuing but did not say if it would be finished this year.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The European Space Agency (ESA) is seeking volunteers who would be ready to take a part on three simulated missions to Mars.

The anticipated missions will be a joint effort from ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency. Each crew will consist of six persons – two Europeans and four Russians. The ESA is looking for 2 crewmembers and two backups that must come from ESA member nations that participate in the ELIPS program.

The flight simulation should last between 105 to 520 days in a closed modules set of total space of 500 . The goal of the mission is to test the psychological stress of the long-distance travel. To make the experience as realistic as possible, the contact with the external world shall exist only via the radio with a time-delay of 40 minutes (simulating the time required for signals to travel between the Earth and Mars).

The first test of 105 days should start in middle of 2008 and the last one should start at the end 2008 or the beginning of 2009.

Interested persons can apply via an application form published on the ESA website.

5 Tips for Finding Great Australian Car Loans


Chris Robertson

Shopping for a vehicle can be both exhilarating and anxiety-provoking. Whether you’re in the market for a new or used car, the prospect of driving it off the lot and owning it is incredibly exciting. Still, buying a vehicle is accompanied by so many unknowns…. Am I getting a good deal? Will owning the car be hassle free, or will I experience the headaches of taking it in time and again for repair? And, most of all, where can I find low-cost car loans?

After all, next to buying a house, buying a vehicle is the biggest single expenditure you’ll ever make. And, if you’re like most people, you don’t have the money to pay cash for your vehicle. Car financing is a godsend, but if you aren’t careful, in the long run you could end up owing more than your car is worth. How do you find a car loan that will enable you to buy the car of your dreams without getting into financial hot water? Here are five tips to consider:

1. Find financing before you buy.

All too often, people go car shopping without enough information about car finance and car loan interest rates. It’s in your best interest to find a financing package that will work for you before you take a test drive. That way, you’ll know exactly what you can afford and won’t make an impulsive decision that you may live to regret.

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2. Understand your options.

When it comes to car loans, one size doesn’t fit all. Your unique financial circumstances and your choice of vehicles determine which car loan is best for you. For example, car loan interest rates may be the most important factor for one person to consider, while another might be more concerned with the length of time that the loan approval process will take.

3. Use a car loan calculator.

Available online, a car loan calculator will give you a quick snapshot of what your potential payments are for different loan amounts and varying terms. Take advantage of these online services, which will typically allow you to enter the amount of the loan, interest rate you’d like, the term of the loan, and the final balloon payment you’re willing to make. In a few seconds, you’ll be able to see what your monthly payment will be.

4. Consider what will be covered.

When you are looking at car loans, consider whether or not you will need more than the purchase price of the vehicle. For example, some companies allow you to finance on-road costs and taxes, car insurance, extended warranties, and loan protection.

5. Get quick quotes from an online source.

An established company with a Web presence has access to many different financing companies, and is most likely to provide you with the loan terms you need and a speedy approval process. For example, you may need a delayed first payment, interest only payments, or extended finance terms. In the case of a used vehicle, they can also help ensure that the title is clear and that there are no outstanding loans from the prior owner.

The process of finding good car loans doesn’t need to be a hassle. Indeed, when you work with the right company, you can soon own the car of your dreams.Chris Robertson

is an author of

Majon International

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For tips/information, click here: LoansVisit Majon’s Automotive directory.

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April 9, 2005

A rise in flesh-eating staph infections has worried doctors about the possible spread of drug resistant bacteria.

Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as staph, is a bacteria that commonly causes skin infections in otherwise healthy people. However, as a persistent threat in hospitals, it tends to infect patients who are already sick and whose systems are vulnerable due to IV lines that pierce the skin. Doctors have already battled for years against drug-resistant strains of the bacteria, but the struggle has generally been confined to hospitals.

Now, however, Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) has been spreading in communities outside hospitals. Cases have multiplied by 25 times since 1998 at the University of Chicago. A Los Angeles hospital documented 14 cases of the flesh-eating infection, where patients required substantial time in intensive care and surgery. The infections are particularly problematic because nearly a quarter of people who get a staph infection require hospitalization.

Staph infections are spread much like other diseases, with crowded conditions, poor hygiene, and skin-to-skin contact most frequently to blame. At higher risk are prison inmates, homeless people, military personnel, and families with kids in day care. Athletes also have a higher risk, because sweating makes it easier for bacteria to infect the skin.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Torture proliferates American headlines today: whether its use is defensible in certain contexts and the morality of the practice. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone was curious about torture in American popular culture. This is the first of a two part series examining the BDSM business. This interview focuses on the owners of a dungeon, what they charge, what the clients are like and how they handle their needs.

When Shankbone rings the bell of “HC & Co.” he has no idea what to expect. A BDSM (Bondage Discipline Sadism Masochism) dungeon is a legal enterprise in New York City, and there are more than a few businesses that cater to a clientèle that wants an enema, a spanking, to be dressed like a baby or to wear women’s clothing. Shankbone went to find out what these businesses are like, who runs them, who works at them, and who frequents them. He spent three hours one night in what is considered one of the more upscale establishments in Manhattan, Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, where according to The Village Voice, “you can take your girlfriend or wife, and have them treated with respect—unless they hope to be treated with something other than respect!”

When Shankbone arrived on the sixth floor of a midtown office building, the elevator opened up to a hallway where a smiling Rebecca greeted him. She is a beautiful forty-ish Long Island mother of three who is dressed in smart black pants and a black turtleneck that reaches up to her blond-streaked hair pulled back in a bushy ponytail. “Are you David Shankbone? We’re so excited to meet you!” she says, and leads him down the hall to a living room area with a sofa, a television playing an action-thriller, an open supply cabinet stocked with enema kits, and her husband Bill sitting at the computer trying to find where the re-release of Blade Runner is playing at the local theater. “I don’t like that movie,” says Rebecca.

Perhaps the most poignant moment came at the end of the night when Shankbone was waiting to be escorted out (to avoid running into a client). Rebecca came into the room and sat on the sofa. “You know, a lot of people out there would like to see me burn for what I do,” she says. Rebecca is a woman who has faced challenges in her life, and dealt with them the best she could given her circumstances. She sees herself as providing a service to people who have needs, no matter how debauched the outside world deems them. They sat talking mutual challenges they have faced and politics (she’s supporting Hillary); Rebecca reflected upon the irony that many of the people who supported the torture at Abu Ghraib would want her closed down. It was in this conversation that Shankbone saw that humanity can be found anywhere, including in places that appear on the surface to cater to the inhumanity some people in our society feel towards themselves, or others.

“The best way to describe it,” says Bill, “is if you had a kink, and you had a wife and you had two kids, and every time you had sex with your wife it just didn’t hit the nail on the head. What would you do about it? How would you handle it? You might go through life feeling unfulfilled. Or you might say, ‘No, my kink is I really need to dress in women’s clothing.’ We’re that outlet. We’re not the evil devil out here, plucking people off the street, keeping them chained up for days on end.”

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Bill & Rebecca, owners of Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, a BDSM dungeon.


  • 1 Meet Bill & Rebecca, owners of a BDSM dungeon
    • 1.1 Their home life
  • 2 Operating the business
    • 2.1 The costs
    • 2.2 Hiring employees
    • 2.3 The prices
  • 3 The clients
    • 3.1 What happens when a client walks through the door
    • 3.2 Motivations of the clients
    • 3.3 Typical requests
    • 3.4 What is not typical
  • 4 The environment
    • 4.1 Is an S&M dungeon dangerous?
    • 4.2 On S&M burnout
  • 5 Criticism of BDSM
  • 6 Related news
  • 7 External links
  • 8 Sources

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