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News briefs:April 23, 2010
 Correction — August 24, 2015 These briefs incorrectly describe BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 
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Electronic voting disputed in France

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In France, voting has traditionally been a low-tech experience: voters isolate themselves in a booth, put a pre-printed sheet of paper indicating their candidate of choice into an envelope. After officials verify the voter’s identity, the voter drops the envelope into the ballot box and signs the voting roll. French electoral law rather strictly codifies the proceedings. Since 1988, ballot boxes must be transparent so that voters and observers can witness that no envelopes are present at the start of the vote and that no envelopes are added except those of the duly counted and authorized voters. Candidates can send representatives to witness every part of the process. In the evening, votes are counted by volunteers under heavy supervision, following specific procedures.

In the past, voting machines, though authorized by law, were scarce. But this year, during presidential elections (the first round was April 22, the second is on May 6), the country is shaken by controversy about the machines intended to count about 1.5 million votes.

As in the United States, there is a group of academic computer scientists that oppose voting machines. They argue that voting machines replace a public, easily understandable counting process, where large-scale fraud would entail large-scale corruption, by an opaque process where votes are counted by machines that voters have to blindly trust. Voting machines have to be approved by the Ministry of the Interior, but this approval is based on confidential reports by private companies. Opponents to the machines point out that the Ministry was long held by Nicolas Sarkozy, who happens to be the leading candidate. Opponents also list a number of weaknesses and discrepancies that have occurred in other countries using voting machines.

All main political parties except UMP, Mr Sarkozy’s ruling party, oppose the voting machines. Some citizens have filed for court injunctions against the voting machines. Opponents have given detailed instructions that voting witnesses should check whether the machines correspond exactly to an approved type, including software versions, and fulfill all legal conditions. In a sign of the frenzy over the issue, on April 12 the Ministry of the Interior issued a last-minute authorization for a specific model (hardware, firmware). The stakes are high: votes on unapproved machines should be canceled by the Constitutional Council for the official count.

The opposition has crystallized on the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux. Issy’s mayor, André Santini is a well-known technophile; his city organizes a “World E-Gov Forum”. Here too, last minute fixes are at work. The machines delivered to the city are of a yet-to-be-approved type. The manufacturer, the American company ES&S voting systems, is now delivering older 2005 machines. Le Monde reports that other municipalities have already replaced their recent machines by an older, approved, model.

Proponents of the machines, such as the French company France Élection, claim they are being defamed and dispute the competence of their critics. Elected officials supporting the machines claim the machines save on paper, time, and the need to find volunteers to count votes.

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control

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Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control
Author:

17 Dec

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

Wikinews interviews William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation

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Wikinews interviews William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation
Author:

17 Dec

Regardless of who wins the prize, people all around the world will be able to experience the mission through high-def video-streams.
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Andreas Hornig, Wikinews contributor and team member of Synergy Moon, competitor in the Google Lunar X Prize, managed to interview Senior Director of Space Prizes William Pomerantz of the X PRIZE Foundation about the competitions, goals, and impacts via e-mail for HDTVTotal.com and Wikinews.

By Wikinews,

the free news source

Other stories: Science and technology
  • 29 November 2018: NASA’s InSight Lander makes it to Mars
  • 26 November 2018: US National Climate Assessment warns of climate-related damages to economy, ecosystems, human health
  • 18 October 2018: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren releases DNA test results, asks Donald Trump to make promised donation
  • 12 October 2018: Manned Soyuz space mission aborts during launch
  • 10 October 2018: UN Report on Global Warming calls for rapid ‘unprecedented’ changes globally to limit planetary warming to 1.5 degree C

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  • “Japanese probe snatches first asteroid sample” — Wikinews, November 26, 2005
  • “$20 million prize offered in lunar rover contest” — Wikinews, September 13, 2007

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


This article is part of a page redesign trial on Wikinews. Please leave comments or bug reports on this redesign.This interview originally appeared on HDTVTotal.com, released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Credit for this interview goes to HDTVTotal.com and Andreas -horn- Hornig.

Pigs fed contaminated pet food; meat sold to consumers

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Pigs fed contaminated pet food; meat sold to consumers
Author:

16 Dec

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The contaminated pet food that was recalled after it was found to contain a harmful industrial chemical called melamine, has been used as pig feed at a hog farm in Ceres, California, located in the United States.

At least seven urine samples taken from pigs at the American Hog Farm, were tested and the results came back positive for the chemical melamine. At least three samples from the feed used to feed the pigs were tested and those results also came back positive for melamine.

Reports say that at least 100 pigs from the farm were slaughtered and sold from the “custom slaughterhouse” that is operated on the farms site. The meat is then sold to different places as “individual orders” and is not sold commercially for supermarkets. The affected meat goes as far back as April 3 and the company is asking anyone who bought it to return the product or throw it out.

Despite the sale, California State Veterinarian Dr. Richard Breitmeyer says that no evidence has turned up to suggest that the meat that was sold entered the human consumption chain.

“There is no evidence that any products from this farm have entered the food supply. The risk to people right now is minimal,” said Breitmeyer who also said that pet food from bags or boxes that have been torn or ripped, is sometimes reused as feed for small farms.

California’s Department of Food and Agriculture investigated the company and found that it had received the contaminated pet food from Diamond Pet Foods, which supplies retailers with the pet food Natural Balance, one of the over 100 recalled brands of pet food. Authorities then quarantined the farm to further investigate the situation.

At least 1,500 pigs are on the farm.

As of the moment, no other farms are being investigated, but officials say that other farms may also be affected.

“In the course of our investigation, we may find similar situations in other parts of the country,” said head of the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Sundlof.

The FDA is continuing to investigate and Sundlof says that there is a possibility that the contamination of the pet food may be intentional.

“It would certainly lend credibility to the theory that it may be intentional. That will be one of the theories we will pursue when we get into the plants in China,” said Sundlof.

Last month, Menu Foods was the first to recall all of its 60 million products of dry and wet dog and cat food after pets began to fall ill and in some cases died of kidney failure. The FDA found melamine in samples of Menu Foods pet food and in samples of wheat gluten, imported from China, which was used as an ingredient.

MG Rover sold to Nanjing Auto

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MG Rover sold to Nanjing Auto
Author:

16 Dec

Friday, July 22, 2005

Administrators PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC) have announced that the British car company MG Rover and its engine manufacturer Powertrain Ltd has been sold to Chinese company Nanjing Automobile for an unknown sum of money. The company beat bids from Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), despite being the smaller of the two.

MG Rover collapsed this Spring, after struggling to make a profit for several years.

SAIC had tried to buy only the engine plant and then transfer it to China, but in June Nanjing Automobile approached PWC with a combined bid for both the car manufacturing company and Powertrain. This Monday SAIC bid for both but the offer was inferior to Nanjing’s.

Nanjing has indicated that it too will move the engine production plant to China, along with some car manufacturing. However it also intends to continue building cars in Britain, and establish an engineering research and design centre there in an effort to expand its sales globally. Nanjing intends to start hiring at once.

Cantaloupe Diet: The Secret To A Healthy You!

Click Here To Know More About:

By Suzanne Macguire

Cantaloupes, or more popularly muskmelons, are one of the most popular varieties of melons in the United States. For people who are conscious of extra calories but have an affinity towards tasty stuff, cantaloupes form the perfect choice for their palette. The refreshingly rich flavor and aroma of cantaloupes can hardly fail to tickle the taste buds of a food lover.

The cantaloupe has its origin in the Italian papal village of Cantalup, where it was first cultivated around 1700 A.D. Hailing from the same family of Cucurbitaceae, cantaloupes grow on the ground with the support of a trailing vine. Cantaloupes have a ribless rind with a distinctive netted skin and hence it’s also called ‘netted melon’. Inside the melon, there is a hollow cavity containing seeds encased in a web of netting. Rockmelon is also another popular name of cantaloupes.

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The health benefits of cantaloupes are innumerable. An excellent source of vitamin A on account of its concentrated beta-carotene content, cantaloupes are responsible for reducing the risk of developing cataracts to around 39%. Reports suggest that cantaloupes are more beneficial than carrots for our eyes. Beta-carotene has also been the subject of extensive research in relationship to cancer prevention and prevention of oxygen-based damage to cells. The benefits of cantaloupes are not confined within this. Being a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, folate, and niacin (vitamin B3), along with its fiber, cantaloupes lend an efficient support to the body by allowing good carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar stability. Besides, recent researches held at various renowned universities as the Kansas University has suggested that consumption of cantaloupes may reduce the risk of lung cancer in passive smokers.

Without doubt, cantaloupes are one of the healthiest of all foods. So including them in our daily diet would be one of the healthiest choices to make. But this does not mean that our diet would monotonous. There are a wide variety of cantaloupe recipes that can really tickle our taste buds. Cantaloupe is normally eaten as a fresh fruit, as a salad, or as a dessert with ice cream or custard. Melon pieces wrapped in prosciutto are a familiar modern antipasto. A world-renowned chef describes the charentais variety: “the orange, sugary and fragrant flesh makes this fruit popular both as a dessert or main course. These have smooth gray-green rinds and very fragrant orange flesh. It keeps well when stored in a cool, dry place and ripens after several days in a warm room.” It’s essential to choose the right cantaloupe while shopping. Choose a melon that is heavy for its size with a sweet but not over-powering smell and no soft spots. If it is ripe, store it in the refrigerator – just be sure to seal it tightly since cantaloupes can take on the odors of nearby foods. If it is a bit hard or green, store it at room temperature until it is ripe. These little tips are helpful to let you enjoy the natural taste of cantaloupes and its wide array of recipes.

Cantaloupes thus combine within themselves the key to health and taste. Low in fats and rich in essential vitamins and minerals, they are just the ideal food for all fitness freaks. So, just reach out and make cantaloupes an essential part of your daily diet.

About the Author: Suzanne Macguire is an Internet marketing professional with expertise in content development and technical writing in a variety of industries.

sundiacorp.com/

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=113979&ca=Food+and+Drinks

del Bosque to quit Spanish team management after contract expiry

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del Bosque to quit Spanish team management after contract expiry
Author:

15 Dec

Thursday, July 7, 2016

On Monday, Vicente del Bosque announced that he drop out from his post as a manager of the Spanish national football team. His contact is to expire at the end of July.

del Bosque said, “I will continue my duties until my contract runs out on 31 July and then I’m leaving. My decision is irreversible”. In UEFA Euro 2016, Spain lost 2–0 in the Last 16 knockout stage against Italy.

In his eight years of management, Vicente del Bosque became the most decorated Spanish coach winning the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa and defending the European Championship in 2012. Before del Bosque’s tenure, the 2008 Euro trophy was spain’s first major trophy in the last 44 years which Spain won under Luis Aragonés, Bosque’s predecessor.

del Bosque is to become a Royal Spanish Football Federation member. He has more than a 75% win record with 87 wins in 114 matches. 70 players including Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, Álvaro Morata, and goalkeeper David de Gea debuted for Spain under del Bosque.

Before Bosque, Helmut Schön was the only manager to have won both FIFA World Cup and EURO Championship.

British Chancellor George Osborne downgrades growth forecast in annual budget

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British Chancellor George Osborne downgrades growth forecast in annual budget
Author:

15 Dec

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered the budget today, an annually-held audit of the country’s finances deciding how taxpayers’ money should be spent. He set out plans to boost the housing market in his fourth budget, as well as stating the economy will grow by 0.6% — half his prediction four months ago.

George Osborne revealed plans to improve the housing market, including a “Help to Buy” shared equity scheme which would offer buyers who can place a 5% deposit on a new house, a 20% loan to buy it. He said: “This is a budget for those who aspire to own their own home”. He also offered a new Mortgage Guarantee, created in conjunction with mortgage lenders — the scheme would allow them to offer loans to homeowners without the need for a large deposit and offer guarantees to support up to £130bn of lending for three years beginning in 2014.

As a measure to attract investment to the British economy, he announced to reduce corporation tax from 21% to 20% taking effect from April 2015. The rate of corporation tax has fallen from 28% in 2010 to the current level of 21%. The United Kingdom is to have lower rates of corporation tax than the USA at 40%, France at 33%, and Germany at 29%.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) stated the government debt reduction programme to reduce the budget deficit will miss its targets. The government has forecast the total public sector debt will begin to fall by the financial year 2015/2016, while OBR says national debt will reach a high of 85.6% of GDP, £1.58 trillion, in 2016/17. Osborne defended the government efforts to reduce the deficit and said: “Our judgement has since been supported by the IMF, the OECD and the Governor of the Bank of England.”

In response to the Budget speech, the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband said: “At the worst possible time for the country. It’s a downgraded budget from a downgraded Chancellor […] Debt is higher in every year of this Parliament than he forecast at the last Budget. He is going to borrow £200 billion more than he planned.”

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls said to The Independent, “They are borrowing £245bn more in this Parliament, we said all along …said this two years ago, if they had moved more quickly with a sensible, targeted package of measures to kick-start the economy, which would have meant at that time more borrowing for a VAT [Value Added Tax] cut to bring forward housing investment, then we would have got the economy growing and the deficit coming down.”

The Business Secretary Vince Cable told the BBC in an interview, the “age of austerity” would probably end within the current decade, but made no more definite forecast.

The head of the British Federation of Small Businesses, John Walker, said: “The Budget opens the door for small businesses to grow and create jobs. The Chancellor has pulled out all the stops with a wide ranging package of measures to support small business. […] [W]e are pleased to see the scrapping of the 3p fuel duty due in September”.

Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of Unite the Union, criticized the budget for not helping working families. He said: “This is a Budget for the few by the few that attacks the many. Millionaires are days away from getting a £40,000 tax cut from the Tories, but George Osborne is using the budget to attack hard-working public sector workers. The worst chancellor in British history has gone further by giving big business another tax cut while staff caring for the sick get pay cuts. […] [H]e should have raised the national minimum wage by £1 and drop the senseless plan to give millionaires a tax break in a few days’ time”.