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Sizzler salad bars shut after rat poison found in food

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

The Sizzler Restaurant franchise in Australia has closed the salad bars in all of its 29 restaurants across the country, after rat poison was discovered in food at two of the chain’s outlets in Brisbane. Self-serve salad bars at the restaurants have been closed in response to a sabotage scare. Sizzler Australia Managing Director Bo Ryan said customer safety was always the restaurant chain’s first priority.

A media release on the Sizzler website states: “As a precautionary measure and because customer health and safety is our number one priority, we have temporarily closed salad bars in all Sizzler Restaurants. We sincerely apologise for this major inconvenience.”

Police said green pellets were found in pasta sauce at a Sizzler restaurant in Brisbane’s inner-west on January 20. A regular customer at the Toowong restaurant told Sizzler staff she had found something odd in her bolognese pasta sauce. Similar pellets were found in a vegetable soup at Sizzler’s Myer Centre outlet in the city about 5pm on Saturday.

Bo Ryan said the decision to close all of its Australian salad bars was made after laboratory tests confirmed that the substance in the pasta sauce was indeed rat poison. He said trainees who tasted the poisoned soup had been been taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution, but had suffered no ill effects.

Queensland Police Inspector Bob Hytch said no one had been reported ill as a result of eating the poisoned food and there had been no extortion threats. Sarah Kenny, a university student, said she and two friends had eaten spaghetti bolognese that “tasted really weird”.

“The inconvenience to customers and the economic impact on the company and its 1600 employees will be severe, but as a family restaurant our first priority is the welfare of our diners,” said Bo Ryan. “Steak and seafood and a limited range of salads would continue to be available.” He hopes that customers will understand the action was taken in their best interests, and that “they can be patient while temporary product security procedures are developed and implemented in all restaurants.”

The 29 Australian Sizzler Restaurants, along with 107 Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets are operated by the Collins Foods Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Worldwide Restaurant Concepts Inc. Mr Ryan said Sizzler was assessing measures which could be taken to prevent a recurrence of the sabotage. “As soon as new measures are introduced, over and above existing strict protocols, we will reassess the situation,” he said.

Submitted by: John Schofield

Here are some tips on saving time and money with plants in containers and herbaceous borders:

Plants in containers

Removing dead flowers: Summer-flowering plants in hanging-baskets, window boxes, troughs and other containers can be brightened up quickly by using sharp scissors to snip off dead flowers. This extends their flowering period and prevents decaying flowers spreading infection to others.

Where daily watering is difficult: Add water-retaining materials to the compost when planting the container. Use moisture-retaining liners when planting a hanging-basket.

YouTube Preview Image

Easy watering: When watering hanging-baskets, or a large group of pots, tie the end of a hosepipe to a 1.2m (4ft) long cane. It is then possible to direct the water more easily into pots: when watering a hanging-basket, bend over the tip of the hosepipe (it can be held in place with a piece of wire, perhaps from a wire clothes hanger). Alternatively, use proprietary hosepipe fittings.

Recycling growing-bags: Where a growing-bag has been used to grow vegetables, perhaps tomatoes in a greenhouse or lettuces on a patio, at the end of the season remove the plants and place the bag in a shed. In the following spring, mix a general fertilizer with the compost and plant with culinary herbs, such as mints that need to have their roots constricted. Half-hardy annuals can also be planted in this medium.

Rejuvenating dry hanging-baskets: Where the compost in a hanging-basket has become exceptionally dry, lower the basket and immerse the compost in a large bowl or bucket of water. Wait until air bubbles cease to rise, then replace the basket on its supporting bracket. First-aid watering: During very hot days -or when a hanging-basket cannot be watered – place a few ice cubes on the compost. These will melt gradually and the water will become available to the plants. Grouping plants in pots: Position plants in pots in a group, rather than spreading them over a large area. This helps to create a more impressive display, as well as slightly reducing the amount and frequency of water they require.

Keeping herbaceous borders smart and tidy

Removing dead flowers: Cutting off dead flowers is time-consuming, but it certainly prolongs the display as well as preventing plants developing seeds at the expense of growth and flowers. Use sharp secateurs or scissors and cut them immediately above a leaf. Place the dead flowers on a compost heap rather than just dropping them on the soil.

Supporting plants: Some herbaceous plants are self-supporting, while others need unobtrusive support. The traditional way to support herbaceous plants is to push twiggy sticks around them while they are still small, so that foliage and flowers grow through them. Proprietary metal supports are available.

Mulching the soil: In spring, shallowly fork around established plants, removing weeds and ensuring that the soil does not have a crusty cap that prevents air and water entering the ground. Thoroughly water the soil, then form a 5cm (2in) thick mulch of well-decayed garden compost over the surface. Alternatively, use a mulch formed of shredded bark.

Autumn tidiness: During autumn, herbaceous plants die down to soil-level; the old stems can be cut down to soil-level, removed and added to a compost heap. This creates a smart and tidy border throughout winter. Alternatively, the stems and old leaves are left in place throughout winter, so that they create an attractive feature when covered in frost.

Re-firm plants in spring: In spring, use the heel of your boot to firm soil around herbaceous plants planted during the previous autumn. This ensures soil is in close contact with the roots and that growth will begin as soon as the weather allows.

About the Author:

Folding doorsFolding patio doorsSliding folding doors

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Somali pirates release Greek ship, 19 sailors

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

According to East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme Kenyan chapter head, Andrew Mwangura, the Greek freighter MV Captain Stephanos and all its 19 crew, consisting of 17 Filipinos, one Chinese and a Ukrainian, had been released late Monday, after 78 days in captivity. It was unclear, however, if any ransom was paid. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said that “there are [still] 91 Filipino seafarers on board six ships still with Somali pirates.”

Somali pirates seized the Bahamas-flagged vessel on September 21 near the Horn of Africa, as the bulk carrier, was cruising in the Gulf of Aden en route and transporting coal to Europe. The captors locked the crew inside the vessel and they were not fed well. The vessel is now headed to Italy and will sail from there to Greece, to meet the ship owners.

Reuters reported that “a surge in attacks at sea this year in the busy Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean off Somalia has pushed up insurance costs, brought the gangs tens of millions of dollars in ransoms, and prompted foreign warships to rush to the area.”

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How should piracy be dealt with in the Gulf of Aden?
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2008 Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This year’s Leisure Taiwan trade show (a.k.a Taiwan Sport Recreation and Leisure Show) started yesterday, with 131 companies participating including sports media companies such as ESPN and VideoLand Television, businesses selling sports equipment and fitness clubs.

There were also a variety of sports being played in the arena built for the trade show. The events included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, free style shooting, and bicycle test-riding. In addition, conferences discussed issues related to sports and physical education.

A major topic in the trade show was energy-efficiency and, as a result, bicycles and similar sports equipment were being heavily promoted.

Next Tuesday, companies from the electronics industry plan to promote their industry at “2008 Digital E-Park.” In previous years, organizations from the electronics industry have showcased their products at Leisure Taiwan instead of at the Digital E-Park, so this move has reduced the number of markets covered by Leisure Taiwan.

Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners

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Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners
Author:

26 May

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

Friday, February 17, 2006

Buffalo, New York —Savarino Construction Services Corp. has proposed a $7 million hotel project at the Forest and Elmwood Avenue intersection, according to The Buffalo News. The proposal calls for a 5-story, 45,000 square-foot 80-room hotel with underground parking for at least 50 vehicles, and 4,500 square-feet of retail space on the lower level.

Hans Mobius, the owner of the five properties to be purchased in the plan (1109 to 1121 Elmwood), reportedly signed a contract with Savarino to assemble the development.

“We saw a huge opportunity to bring something to the Elmwood Village that will make sense and bring a service that’s currently not available,” said Eva Hassett, vice president of Savarino. “Elmwood is such a wonderful place to eat, shop, walk and spend time. We believe this project will add to that vibrant environment.”

Some business owners in the area see it differently. Wikinews interviewed 2 of the 4 owners whose business’s would be demolished if the development goes through.

Nancy Pollina, of Don Apparel at 1119 Elmwood, who found out about the development only yesterday, said she is “utterly” against the proposal. Her apparel shop has stood at the same location for nearly 14 years. She has volunteered in the community, and helped create several gardens around bus shelters in the city, and served on Forever Elmwood Board for six years as head of Beautification. Patty Morris co-owns Don Apparel with Pollina.

“To say this is a good looking project, I want to say the emperor has no clothes. This [project] does not take into consideration the needs of the college students. I have been told by college students, these shops here, are the reason they leave the campus,” said Mrs. Pollina.

Buffalo State College is 500-feet from the intersection.

Michael Faust, the owner of Mondo Video said, “Well, I do not really want to get kicked out of here. The landlord was very open, and the deal he made with me when I moved in here was ‘the rent is cheap and I [the landlord] will not fix anything and that will not change.'” Faust said he first learned of the development plan, “about 48 hours ago. I found out on Tuesday when the Buffalo News called and asked for my opinion on this.” Faust has not said if he will make plans to relocate. “We have to see if this [house] is going to get knocked down first,” said Faust.

An “informational” meeting, where citizens can voice opinions and learn about the proposal, will be held on Tuesday February 21, 2006 at 5:00pm (eastern), at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center Gallery at Buffalo State College, Rockwell Hall.

Executive director of Forever Elmwood Corporation, Justin P. Azzarella would not comment on whether or not the organization supports the development, saying, “you will just have to come to the meeting.”

Forever Elmwood Corp. is designed to preserve and protect the unique and historic nature of Elmwood Avenue and its surrounding neighborhoods and encourage neighborhood commercial revitalization. The organization was founded in 1994.

Nearly two years ago, the Forever Elmwood Corp. assisted in the blocking of the demolition of the Edward Atwater house at 1089 Elmwood next to Pano’s Restaurant which is at 1081 Elmwood. Owner Pano Georgiadis wanted to expand his restaurant onto the property where the house now stands, but the Common Council denied his permit to demolish saying the house is a historical landmark and needs to be protected. Georgiadis, who has a bleeding ulcer, said that all the court cases landed him in the hospital. “I got a bleeding ulcer, and since then, I don’t care about this house anymore, or this city. I just go to work every day. I think [preservationists] are parasites,” said Georgiadis.

Georgiadis will not be attending Tuesday’s meeting saying, “I will be out of town.”

In 1995 Hans Mobius proposed a plan to develop a Walgreens, that was to be placed in the same location, but residents and business owners shot down the proposal. Walgreens eventually withdrew its request for a variance after pressure from the community.

Results of 2005 United Kingdom General Election

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Results of 2005 United Kingdom General Election
Author:

26 May

Friday, May 6, 2005

The United Kingdom General Election
Labour Conservative Lib Dems
355 197 62
DUP SNP Sinn Féin
7 6 5
Plaid Cymru SDLP UUP
3 3 1
RESPECT IKHH Ind.  
1 1 1  
Other Wikinews election coverage:
  • Theresa May’s Conservative Party wins UK election but loses majority, leaving Brexit plan in question
  • Seven killed, forty-eight injured in attack on London Bridge
  • Theresa May calls for June general election
  • Jeremy Corbyn wins UK labour leadership election
  • Category:2015 United Kingdom general election
Full election 2005 coverage.
Background:
Wikipedia, Wikinews’ sibling project, has in-depth background articles on:

At 21:00 UTC yesterday, the polls closed in the United Kingdom general election. With only a handful of seats left to declare, Labour reached the 324 seats necessary to form a majority in the House of Commons, with the result in Corby at 03:28 UTC.

The Conservative Party remains the Opposition party, with the Liberal Democrats being the third largest party in the House of Commons.

Both the Labour victory and the reduced majority were widely predicted by opinion polls before the election. The BBC/ITV exit poll predicted Tony Blair a majority of 66 seats, which continued to be forecast as the final result as declarations were made. Some early results in the north-east indicated a bigger swing away from Labour than the opinion polls had been suggesting, but later results confirmed the survey.

Overall, there has been no clear swing in votes between the parties. Many seats have seen large swings, but in many different directions, with perhaps the national swing of 5% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat being the most dramatic with many much larger local swings.

The new Labour government has been elected with the lowest proportion of the popular vote ever – just 35.2%. However, the Tories only gained 32.3% barely more than the last election in 2001. The biggest winners in terms of popular vote were the Liberal Democrats led by Charles Kennedy, who secured 22.1% of the vote. With 645 of 646 seats declared so far, this has given the Liberal Democrats another 11 seats in Parliament, but the Conservatives have gained another 33 seats. Labour have lost 47.

As a result, Tony Blair is forecast to be governing with a majority of 66 in the new Parliament. However, on some major issues such as university fees and anti-terror laws, many Labour MPs have voted against their leadership. With a greatly reduced majority, Tony Blair may be forced to water down many more controversial policies in order to guarantee their passage through the House of Commons. Speaking on BBC News, commentator David Dimbleby pointed out the uncertainty of such possibilities, and noted that a majority of 66 was larger than the 43 seat majority won by Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom general election, 1979.

One surprise vote was the election of ex-Labour member George Galloway in Bethnal Green & Bow, in East London. The area has a very high number of Muslims in it, and Galloway moved from his home in Scotland in order to gain their anti-war support. He ousted Britain’s only second female black MP, Oona King, in the process.

Robert Kilroy-Silk, the ex-talkshow host who was sacked from the BBC after writing racist newspaper articles, only came fourth in his election in Erewash in the East Midlands. His party, Veritas, which fielded 65 candidates across the country, stood for withdrawing from the European Union and blocking immigration.

Turnout in the general election is 60%, up 2% on 2001.

For comparison:

Israel continues settlement expansion

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Israel continues settlement expansion
Author:

26 May

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Israel has announced two new housing projects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, continuing to expand its settlements. Officials have stated that a bill to be approved by parliament this week, would set aside $25 million for the expansion of development projects in Har Homa and Maale Adumim. The bill would create 500 apartments in the Har Homa area and another 240 in Maale Adumim.

Last month, both Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signed a statement of “joint understanding” at the 2007 Annapolis Conference in Maryland. This signalled the first peace agreement between the two parties in more than seven years.

However, many fear that settlement expansions will cause tension amid new peace agreements.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “This is a totally destructive policy. Every day we hear a new settlement expansion plan – this cannot be tolerated.”

However, Rafi Eitan, Israeli Minister for Jerusalem Affairs offered a different stance.

“Har Homa is an integral part of Jerusalem and Israel will not stop building there. It is Israel’s duty to provide its citizens with a place to live.”

Earlier this month, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took a critical stance on the passage of another bill outlining the construction of 307 apartment units in Har Homa, saying that the expansion would “not help build confidence for peace talks.”

Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 Six-Day War.

Category:May 16, 2010

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Category:May 16, 2010
Author:

26 May

? May 15, 2010
May 17, 2010 ?
May 16

Pages in category “May 16, 2010”

HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

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HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer
Author:

23 May

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.

Florida man charged with stealing Wi-Fi

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Florida man charged with stealing Wi-Fi
Author:

23 May

Update since publication

This article mentions that Wi-Fi stands for “Wireless Fidelity”, although this is disputed.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

A Florida man is being charged with 3rd degree felony for logging into a private Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) Internet access point without permission. Benjamin Smith III, 41, is set for a pre-trial hearing this month in the first case of its kind in the United States.

This kind of activity occurs frequently, but often goes undetected by the owners of these wireless access points (WAPs). Unauthorized users range from casual Web browsers, to users sending e-mails, to users involved in pornography or even illegal endeavours.

According to Richard Dinon, owner of the WAP Smith allegedly broke into, Smith was using a laptop in an automobile while parked outside Dinon’s residence.

There are many steps an owner of one of these access points can take to secure them from outside users. Dinon reportedly knew how to take these steps, but had not bothered because his “neighbors are older.”