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News briefs:January 04, 2008


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Astronomer tells Wikinews about discovery of closest black hole known so far

Friday, May 22, 2020

A study published in journal Astronomy & Astrophysics last month reported astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and elsewhere discovered a black hole in the Telescopium constellation. The study stated the black hole is about 1010 ± 195 light years (310 ± 60 parsec) away from the Solar System, meaning it is the nearest known black hole from the Earth. The nearest previously known black hole — V616 Mon — the study noted was usually estimated at more than 3000 light years away.

The black hole described in the study is located in the HR 6819 stellar system of Telescopium constellation, making it the first system visible to the naked eye to contain a black hole. HR 6819 contains two stars, and they are visible from the Southern Hemisphere. The astronomers started observing the system in 1999. Initially, they thought it was just a binary system, consisting of two stars. However, upon examination, the researchers concluded there was a third unseen object in the system. One of the two stars in the HR 6819 system is close to the black hole and orbits the black hole in just 40.333 ± 0.004 days.

This newly discovered black hole does not have an accretion disk. A black hole forms an accretion disk when a significant amount of matter orbits the black hole, as depicted in the image. Accretion disks often emit electromagnetic radiation. Since this black hole does not have an accretion disk, researchers had to rely on the gravitational effect of the black hole on the nearby star in order to discover it.

Researchers used the binary mass function to conclude the black hole had a mass of at least 4.2 M? (Solar masses; 1 Solar mass = mass of the Sun). Its companion star, which orbits the black hole in about 40 days, is classified as a B3 III star. The outer star is classified as a Be star. Be stars rotate very quickly around their axes. Since the outer star rotates so rapidly, the star is not exactly spherical, but instead oblate, bulged at its equator, forming a gas disk around the equator.

The research suggested HR 6819 was very similar to another system LB-1. The HR 6819 system is estimated to be between 15–75 million years old (myr). The inner star has estimated mass of at least 6.3 ± 0.7 M?. Using the mass and the speed at which the inner star rotates, the researchers concluded the black hole had an estimated mass of 5.0 ± 0.4 M?. Researcher and co-author of the study Thomas Rivinius told Wikinews the inner star and the black hole are closer than the Sun and the Earth (1au; 150 million km; 93 million miles).

The researchers dedicated the paper to Stanislav Štefl, one of the fellow researchers who died in a car accident in 2014 in Santiago, Chile.

Wikinews caught up with Thomas Rivinius to discuss about this discovery.

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By Robbie T. James

So, you’ve got someone whom you are crazy about and want to find just the right gift to show them just how you feel. A well-chosen romantic gift is can be a prelude to a fun night out, an intimate night in, or just a long-distance way to show your love.

Unique romantic gifts are always a pleasure to come across. When you are searching for just the right gift, you may be concerned that you may not find the right thing in time. But, there is something a bit magical that happens when you discover just the right present for him or her; it is as if at some level you know that they are going to just love it.

So, if you want to make your special guy or gal glow by giving them the right gift, here are 5 tips for finding the right romantic gifts to deliver to him or her:

1. Romantic gifts should not be overly suggestive:

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Make sure you do not confuse “romantic” with “dirty.” (Of course, depending upon your mutual sense of taste and on the nature of your relationship, that can be fun, too! But, then it is not a romantic gift). Even for people who are very intimate, the ability to give something actually romantic – and not just sexy – is the sign of an expert gift-giver. When you keep it classy, the romance value goes way up.

2. Choose a gift that speaks to who they are:

Find something that reflects the person that they are – their essence. The right gift will highlight their best qualities and attributes. Whether the apple of your eye is into physical exercise, is a foodie, is business-oriented, or works outside all day with their hands, find a gift that resonates with that special part of their spirit.

3. Avoid impulse buys just because something is “such a good deal”:

Often, when we are searching for a gift for our loved ones or for those whom we have a crush on, we can sometimes start feeling a bit desperate. We want to find them a gift quickly – and it can seem that any will do. Then, we snatch up the first thing we see on sale or that is prominently displayed on the department store shelf. That’s a no-no. It’s not about just getting something quickly and moving on (no matter how much you want to); it’s about getting them the right gift.

4. Find a gift is meant to satisfy them – not you:

You may be tempted to buy her that sexy negligee that she would look so good in, or you may want to buy him that handsome sweater. That is all fine, but make sure that you have your motivations in order. The resulting gift should be something they will love, not just something you want to see them in.

5. Respect your budget:

Nothing kills the romantic mood like spending too much on a gift. You definitely want to be giving and generous by nature, but do not spend so much that you might regret it later. For, if even one tiny hint gets across to him or her that you regret having spent so much money, you may as well kiss goodbye any romantic “points” or kudos that you earned for getting that great gift.

Follow these 5 tips for finding romantic gifts to deliver.

About the Author: Get a list of unique romantic gift ideas at:

Creative Romantic Gift Ideas




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Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellen while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother’s amorous pursuit.

The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950’s America and that White’s work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White’s enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.

Gas explosion in Russian shopping center kills 24

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Gas explosion in Russian shopping center kills 24
Author: Admin

20 May

Monday, July 11, 2005

An explosion at a shopping center in the northern Russian city of Ukhta has resulted in several fatalities, a fire and dozens of injuries. Rescuers raised the death toll to 24 on Tuesday. At least 30 people have been injured.

The explosion occurred in a shop called “Passazh” at 1:58pm local time (9:58am UTC). Local police have said that the explosion was caused by a gas canister.

Ukhta is an important industrial city in the Komi Republic of northwestern Russia. Its population is around 100,000 and is located near rich gas and oil reserves.

Tips For Pet Health Care


Pets are our friends and apart from providing company and protection to us, they provide some physical and emotional benefits as well. They are our companions, which is also similar to having a partner. While looking towards the benefits of your companion animal, it is imperative to ensure that they remain in good health. In the following, one will see some important pet health care facts to consider in order to achieve optimal health care for your pet.

Checkups at Regular intervals

Checkups can prove to be beneficial in preventing a lot of health related problems of pets in advance. There are some exams which are very important for better pet health care like dental exams, parasite control and health screenings. Regular checkups for your pet may save your pet from suffering from many major problems by offering advanced diagnosis of problems. If these problems are found early, immediate treatment is administered therefore, allowing your pet to live an ailment free life.

Parasite Control

Parasites are one of the major problems found in almost all pets. So parasite control is a challenge for every pet owner. They can cause hair loss of your pet, irritated skin and infections also. Regular checkups and proper medications is the only way to control it.

Regular Vaccinations

Regular vaccinations are a necessity and if your pet does not receive them, your pet may come down with common issues that are associated with pets like rabies, canine hepatitis, feline leukemia and distemper. To know the proper intervals at which your pet needs vaccinations, you should contact a veterinarian, as it varies depending upon age and health of the pet.

Dental Care

More often than people like to think, pets come down with tooth problems as well. This is why regular dental checkups are an important part of pet health care as well. They may suffer from tooth loss or gum pain also. So just like you, there is a need of regular cleanings, to keep their teeth healthy.

Avoid Human Medication

It is never suggested to give any animal medications that were manufactured for humans. Even though it may seem like something that should work, their tolerance is not the same as ours and their bodies react differently. Human medication can damage the kidneys of your pet or it may also kill your pet. If you are really serious about pet health care, then keep human medication away from them. In case your pet consumed any human medication accidentally, you should immediately contact your vet or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Therefore, pets are an integral part of our life and we all want to see them happy all the time. For that we need to be little careful and aware about pet health care facts. Just keep caring for your companion animals and in return, they will fill your life with joy.

Please feel free to visit us at http://www.holisticveterinaryhealing.com/. Your pet’s health is extremely important and we have fully staffed pet health care facilities. To know more about pet heath care contact Holistic Veterinary Healing. You can also find them on Facebook.

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further

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Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further
Author: Admin

19 May

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — 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, March 10, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The Common Council of Buffalo voted on Tuesday to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal “to committee for further discussion”, after citing the need for more public involvement.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a development proposal by the Savarino Construction Services Corporation, a project designed by the architect Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on the southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo.

To make way for the project, at least five buildings located at 1109 to 1121 Elmwood Ave would be demolished. At least two properties on Forest Avenue could also be demolished. The Elmwood properties, according to Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarion Construction, are “under contract”, but it is unclear if Savarino Construction actually owns the Elmwood properties. Hans Mobius, a former mayorial candidate, is still believed to be the current owner the properties. Mobius also owns 607 Forest Avenue.

The properties 605 and 607 Forest Avenue could also be included in the proposal according to Hassett.

“We would use a Special Development Plan to rezone 1119-1121 Elmwood and 605 Forest to a C-2 zoning category,” stated Hassett. It is possible that Savarino Construction may try to obtain a variance for 605 Forest, which would allow them to enforce eminent domain, should the hotel be allowed to go forward.

The building at 607 Forest was also discussed to be rezoned, but it is unclear what the plans would be for that property. During the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett stated that the properties 605 and 607 were “now off the agenda”.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood, owns the property at 605 Forest and attended Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“Having a hotel is a bright idea. We all love the idea of a hotel, but the way that it is presented, is wishful thinking. This hotel does not fit. It’s like putting two gallons of water in a gallon jug, it does not fit. At the last meeting, the architect admitted that they are planning to put the undergound parking lot and the hotel, right at the property line. If I open my window, I will be able to touch the wall, that goes fifty feet high”, said Georgiadis.

“There is a problem having a seventy-two room hotel and fifty-five parking spaces. That means that all the other cars will spill all over the neighborhood. The footprint is simply too small. If you have a bigger [parking] lot, and a smaller hotel, I will welcome a hotel. I have a parking lot at my own business, and I am chasing people all day long. Remember, the city says it has ‘zero tolerance [for illegal parking]’. Try telling that to the guy from Albany who came to see his kids, that are going to Buffalo State, who would get tickets totaling over a hundred dollars”, added Georgiadis.

The city’s Planning Board is scheduled to meet on March 14, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. about the proposal. Although a discussion will take place, no vote is expected to be taken.

At the moment, none of the properties are zoned for a hotel. Savarino Construction plans on asking for a C2 zoning permit. If that does not work, they plan to implement a new zoning plan called a “special development plan” which would allow for only a hotel on the site. That zone would not be able to be changed.

“This [project] justifies Mobius’s refusal to invest in any maitenance[sic] or improvements”, on the properties said Clarence Carnahan, a local resident. “Where were the Council persons over the years? Where were the city inspectors over the years, to make sure that he maintained and improved his properties? The government was supposed to be protecting, not being preditorial. I see a predatorial issue here when it comes to this hotel. Over the years: Why has the local government been disfunctional when it came to Mobius’s properties? Refusal to invest in improvements, doesn’t that sound like a slumlord? Maybe I am missing a point here, but what kind of messages does this send to other slumlords that havn’t[sic] been jailed or fined? It’s [the hotel] trying to be pushed through.”

Carnahan also presented signs for residents and or business owners who are opposed to the hotel, that could be placed in windows or on stakes in the yard. Some of the signs said, ‘No tell hotel’, ‘Hans off, no hotel’, ‘It takes more than a hotel to make a village’. and ‘Keep Elmwood free, no hotel’. Carnahan plans on making more signs for a protest to be held on Saturday March 18, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Elmwood and Forest. Some signs were given to individuals after the meeting.

“First things first, Hans is the problem, and I don’t think it has been addressed. Let’s roll back the clock on this project. What can we do with Hans? There is such thing as eminent domain, which could be of greater interest to the community, to seize the property at its lowest assessed value”, said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood. “There are so many ideas that have not been explored and we are about to give this parcel away, to a big developer.”

Mobius has not returned any calls by Wikinews regarding the situation.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews has obtained a letter, exclusively, addressed to one of the five business owners from Hans Mobius stating:

There is a proposal to develop my property which you are currently renting. Because of opposition to this development, it does not look like it will happen. I will let you know if there any changes.

Despite the letter, there have been no plans or decisions made to end the proposal.

To date, none of the business owners or residents of 1119-1121 Elmwood have received an eviction notice.

Business owners and residents gave an indication of what they would like to see happen at the corner; a project similar to one done locally last year. There, developers renovated two buildings on Auburn and Elmwood Avenues, merging the buildings into one thus allowing for more shop space. Among some of the shops to move in after the development were Cone Five Pottery, The Ruby Slipper, and Abraham’s Jewelers. Prior to the renovation work, the left building in the picture was boarded up for several years. Many of the concerned locals would like to see a similar development on Forest and Elmwood.

Rocco Termini, a developer in Buffalo, proposed a similar design at the February 28 community meeting

In an interview after the February 28 meeting, Termini stated, “I will be willing to take a look at this myself, or I would be more than happy to be partners with Sam, Sam Savarino”, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Savarino Construction Services Corp.

So far Savarino Construction has no plans to team up with Termini.

Main Page/Sandbox4

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Main Page/Sandbox4
Author: Admin

27 Apr

Relief efforts continue

Over 116,000 are reported dead in the coastal areas of Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and other regions. As international aid begins to flow to the region, casualties caused by outbreaks of cholera, typhoid and related diseases, as well as by increasingly unsanitary conditions, threatens to push the death toll even higher.

‘Fockers’ set to meet another weekend title

With no new wide releases, last weekend’s films are set to rule U.S. and Canadian box office receipts once again.

Yushchenko claims victory in re-run

In Ukraine, the opposition candidate wins, and the Ukraine Elections commission rejects Prime Minister Yanukovych’s claims over election.

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World (°C) — (°F)

  • Neuroscientists tell Wikinews about empathy and harm aversion observed in lab rats for conspecifics

  • World leaders support global truce in fight against coronavirus
  • Universities and other schools across the nation looking to reopen on Halloween
  • New York City resident stranded in west African country of Ghana due to global pandemic claims he’s better off staying abroad
  • Song about rock foundation still being played 12x a day on the radio after 7 months
  • More than half of Russians don’t trust official information about the coronavirus epidemic in Russia
  • Press conference of the Chairman of the Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia Yuri Shafranik
  • Five days on, schools remain open for now

Aspects of the following articles may be in dispute.

To add/remove an article, edit the article itself and add/remove appropriate article flag.

  • World leaders support global truce in fight against coronavirus
  • New York City resident stranded in west African country of Ghana due to global pandemic claims he’s better off staying abroad
  • Song about rock foundation still being played 12x a day on the radio after 7 months
  • Press conference of the Chairman of the Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia Yuri Shafranik
  • Five days on, schools remain open for now

Current temperatures: Celsius (°C) — Fahrenheit (°F)

Pest Control In Phoenix Az Will Help Erradicate Pests

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More people are demanding quality pest control services due to the increasing awareness of the tolls pests take each year. They damage property and threaten human safety. If they are not stopped, they put homeowners at risk of spending money they had not anticipated, correcting the problems they cause.

Pest Control in Phoenix AZ is readily available. With new advances in technology, customers have no reason to fear high costs or exposure to toxic sprays or traps. Pest control must be dispensed by qualified technicians.

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Alliance Pest Management suggests when seeking pest control services, always go with state licensed personnel. These are the only people who can attest to the safety of the products. Although spraying and laying traps might look like an easy task, pest control is strictly monitored and each year technicians must continue to be compliant to service the community.

Some pests are only seen in certain areas of the country, whereas countless others are seen everywhere. Homeowners constantly face the threat of termites, and the methods used to eradicate them are different from the ways technicians would exterminate mosquitoes, for example. Yet each can cause damage to the home or cause illnesses that could result in death.

Technicians will always advise clients of the proposed effectiveness of their products and inform owners if further action, such as a weekend evacuation are necessary while the product is taken effect. Any disruption in the homeowners’ routines are an inconvenience. However, in instances like this, completely necessary.

Discuss with pest control in Phoenix AZ technicians the costs that will be involved, as well as the type of treatment they will be using. Sometimes traps must be laid in addition to other means. The technicians should be advised when there are pets or children at the property so they can suggest alternative treatments.

Pest control is an ongoing chore. Regular appointments may be necessary to ensure the pests take a holiday and not return. The technician will be able to give the homeowner proper instructions on maintaining the pest control schedule between visits. They will also receive assurances that the problem will eventually get under control. It just takes perseverance.

Settlement returns billions to California schools funding

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Settlement returns billions to California schools funding

26 Feb

Tuesday, May 16, 2006The state’s teachers and schools chief Jack O’Connell have settled their lawsuit against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and, as a result, billions of dollars in school funding O’Connell and the teachers claimed the governor misappropriated during the state’s fiscal crisis will be returned to the schools.

“The restoration of funding to Califoria school districts is very positive news,” New Haven schools Superintendent Pat Jaurequi told the James Logan Courier.

“This is a day for celebration in schools throughout California. When this lawsuit was filed, I promised that I would fight up and down the state until the funding owed to our schools was restored,” O’Connell, the state superintendent of Public Instruction, said in a statement last week. “I also promised I would give the Governor credit for doing the right thing if he restored this critical funding. Today, I want to thank Governor Schwarzenegger for working with the education community to invest wisely in our schools — the best investment we can make in California’s future.”

“This is a good thing for our schools and community colleges throughout California,” said Barbara E. Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association, one of the parties to the lawsuit. “Having all the money owed to our schools under Proposition 98 and the governor’s agreement of 2004 restored to our students is the news we’ve been waiting for.

In a statement regarding the settlement, Schwarzenegger said, “I am pleased to announce a resolution that will put the dispute regarding Proposition 98 funding behind us and allow us to invest an additional $3 billion in schools in a way that best helps our students.”

Proposition 98 is an amendment to the state Constitution, passed in 1988, that established a minimum funding level or guarantee for K-12 education and community colleges. O’Connell and the California Teachers Association sued Schwarzenegger and the director for the California Department of Finance last summer after when they diverted billions of dollars earmarked for the schools under Prop. 98 to overcome budget deficits that were crippling California, violating an agreement made with educators the previous year.

The agreement restores funding Proposition 98 funding that was due, but not provided in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 fiscal years. The Governor’s May Budget Revision will include $2 billion and language that provides an additional $3 billion to be paid in installments between fiscal year 2006-07 and fiscal year 2013-14, or until paid in full.

In addition to the settlement funds, Schwarzenegger’s “May Budget Revision,” announced last week, also directs billions more of the state’s money to schools. Schwarzenegger said bulging state coffers, filled by unexpected tax revenues, allowed him to budget an extra 8.1 billion for schools, for a total of $55.1 billion-an over 17% overall funding increase from 2004-2005.

The settlement and the new budget figures “will allow us to make good on the debts to schools created through the recent lean years and to make important new investments in public education,” said O’Connell.

Schwarzenegger had some ideas about how the money should be spent. “For K-12 schools, I propose that we concentrate these funds to improve instruction in schools with low academic achievement. We should direct the funds to the classroom level for such things as lowering class size, attracting and supporting quality school leadership and fully credentialed and experienced teachers, supporting greater involvement of parents, providing more counselors in high schools, and increasing quality professional development, instructional materials, improved instruction and accountability.” he said.

Although pleased by the outcome of the lawsuit, Jaurequi was cautious about predicting its effect in New Haven “ It is significant to note that two-thirds of the new funding is one-time in nature and is not an ongoing revenue stream,” she said.

“Although the budget process is far from over and we will likely differ on some of his budget priorities, I am happy to thank Governor Schwarzenegger for working with the education community to invest in public education,” said O’Connell, who’s been embroiled in controversy and litigation over the California High School Exit Exam in recent weeks.

“I am particularly pleased to see that the Governor has increased funding to expand remediation programs for students who are struggling to pass the California High School Exit Exam, and to pay for new summer and evening administrations of the Exam,” said O’Connell, who wrote the law requiring the exam when he was a state legislator in 1998, “ I also applaud the increase in funding to expand and improve student nutrition programs giving more students the opportunity to make healthier food choices on campus. In addition, I am very happy to see additional funding for high school counselors. Our state currently has the lowest ratio of counselors to students in the nation. This is a statistic we need to improve upon “