Nov 21 2018

German footballer Mesut Özil announces retirement from international football over ‘racism’

Published by under Uncategorized

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

On Sunday, German footballer Mesut Özil announced retiring from international football via his official Twitter handle. The 29-year-old gave racism as the reason for his retirement.

Özil and his international teammate ?lkay Gündo?an, who are of Turkish origin, met the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an in London in May. The two players took a photo with Erdo?an, after which, many Germans reportedly booed the players prior to this year’s FIFA Football World Cup in Russia. Özil said that he received hate mail and threats after meeting the Turkish president.

In his tweets, Özil said, “It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect. I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t. I feel unwanted and think that what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.”

Speaking about his meeting with the Turkish president, Özil said, “Like many people, my ancestry traces back to more than one country. Whilst I grew up in Germany, my family background has its roots firmly based in Turkey […] For me, having a picture with President Erdo?an wasn’t about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country”. Referring to the German football association’s president, Reinhard Grindel, Özil said, “In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win but I am an immigrant when we lose.”

Özil made his international debut on August 12, 2009, playing against Azerbaijan. Since then, he has featured in 92 matches for Germany, scoring 23 goals. Özil was part of 2014’s World Cup winning squad.

“He [Mesut Özil] played a key role in Germany lifting the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and so the DFB is and always will be incredibly grateful for his outstanding performances in Germany colours” ((de))German language: ?Er hatte entscheidenden Anteil daran, dass Deutschland 2014 in Brasilien Weltmeister geworden ist. Deshalb ist und bleibt der DFB Mesut Özil für seine herausragenden Leistungen im Trikot der deutschen Nationalmannschaften sehr dankbar., the German football association Deutscher Fußball-Bund said in a statement. It also said, “The DFB regrets Mesut Özil’s decision to step down from the national team.” ((de))German language: ?Der DFB bedauert den Abschied von Mesut Özil aus der Nationalmannschaft.

Özil’s last match for Germany was against South Korea in this year’s FIFA World Cup, which ended in a 2–0 defeat for Germany, as the 2014 winners failed to qualify for the knockout phase.

No responses yet

Nov 21 2018

Chicago Metra considers selling naming rights for train lines, stations

Published by under Uncategorized

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chicago’s Metra is currently considering the possibility of selling the naming rights to its train stations, rail lines, and even bridges to generate more revenue. 

The regional rail system for Chicago and its surrounding suburbs has been experiencing revenue shortfalls, along with other public transportation agencies such as the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace. They all rely on sales taxes and fares to fund their services, but the recent recession has reduced sales tax revenues, and unemployment has caused ridership to fall. Compared to 86.8 million trips in 2008, Metra reported that only 82.3 million trips were provided in 2009. As spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said, “We’re looking at any opportunity to increase non-fare revenue.”

A law approved by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in 2008 granted free rides to all seniors regardless of income, adding to the decreasing fare revenues as well. State lawmakers are trying to restrict the free rides to low-income seniors; Metra has not yet commented on the issue, however. 

New designs put on the agency’s website last September has attracted more traffic, and Metra is considering selling advertising space online. In addition, advertising space could be sold on the outside of train cars as well. As for the naming rights to stations and routes, Metra plans to hire a consultant that would figure out the details of such a proposal. Spokesperson Meg Reihle did not know how much money Metra could gain from the sale or which organizations would be interested in buying. 

According to Ms. Reihle, public transit agencies in other cities have sold naming rights as well, such as the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority in Cleveland and Long Island Rail Road in Long Island. TECO Energy sponsors a rail line in Tampa’s Hillsborough Area Regional Transit for US$1 million over ten years. 

Throughout its 26-year history, Metra has named several of its locomotives and renamed two stations: Ogilvie Transportation Center, which was previously named North Western Station, and Millennium Terminal, which was previously called Randolph Street. No transactions were made in renaming those two stations, however. There is also a Station named after the candy maker Mars, but that station was named before Metra took it over, and the company doesn’t pay Metra for any naming rights. 

I think the business community recognizes that transit is positive for their advertising benefit

Execuive Director Phil Pagano sees the proposal as a way for businesses to advertise themselves. “I think the business community recognizes that transit is positive for their advertising benefit,” said Mr. Pagano at a board meeting. In addition to businesses, hospitals located near the train stations could purchase naming rights as well. However, Mr. Pagano has also stated that “the agency would be selective about the type of businesses it partners with.”

Metra has said that it will be sensitive to the wishes of the communities near the stops, and town names will not be removed from station names. Rather, both the municipality and the sponsoring organization would share the naming rights, such as in renaming Naperville Station to “Naperville Boeing Station”. “I’m not sure whether [the old name] is first or second, but definitely it’s going to have to be there,” said Mr. Pagano.

No responses yet

Nov 21 2018

US National Football League to fine teams if athletes kneel during national anthem

Published by under Uncategorized

Friday, May 25, 2018

On Wednesday, the US National Football League (NFL) announced adopting a new policy of fining the clubs if their athletes knelt during the national anthem. Per the policy, athletes who do not wish to stand for the anthem are now permitted to stay in the locker room. Under the new policy, the commissioner can “impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”

According to commissioner Roger Goodell, in their meeting in Atlanta NFL owners reached a unanimous decision. In the statement, Goodell said, “It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic […] This is not and was never the case.” Per the earlier policy, athletes had to be present on the sidelines of the field during the anthem.

Since 2016, when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the pre-match national anthem in a protest against racial discrimination, police brutality and shooting of African-Americans by policemen, multiple athletes have joined the protests taking a knee when the US national anthem — The Star-Spangled Banner — was played. Kaepernick then said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour”.

The NFL Players Association said the NFL did not consult them before announcing the policy. The day before the NFL’s statement, the clubs agreed to donate 90 million US dollars (USD) to initiatives for social justice.

Eric Reid, a former teammate of Kaepernick who also took a knee during the national anthem, said, “I needed to use a platform to speak out for other people who didn’t have a voice. So I joined Colin in protesting the issues in this country, which include police brutality, systemic oppression of black and brown people”. He added, “This is not about disrespecting the military or the anthem. This is a way for me to bring awareness around these issues in our country.”

The new policy now allows the clubs to devise their own provisions for fining or suspending the players. New York Jets’ chairperson Christopher Johnson said, “There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”

Owner of San Francisco 49ers Jed York abstained from voting for the NFL policy in Atlanta.

Former US president Barack Obama, in September 2016, said Kaepernick was “exercising his constitutional right”. Current US president Donald Trump, in September 2017, called the athletes who knelt during the national anthem unpatriotic and “disgraceful”. Trump also said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired.'”

Regarding the new policy, Malcolm Jenkins, a defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, said, “What NFL owners did today was thwart the players’ constitutional rights to express themselves and use our platform to draw attention to social injustices like racial inequality in our country. Everyone loses when voices get stifled.” His teammate Chris Long, who donated USD one million to charity last season, wrote on Twitter, “This is fear of a diminished bottom line. It’s also a fear of a president turning his base against a corporation. This is not patriotism. Don’t get it confused.”

Retired quarterback Sage Rosenfels tweeted saying, “I hope the NFL decides to completely stop all concession stand sales during the anthem as well. We wouldn’t want people buying a $10 beer and an $8 hot dog during our sacred anthem. All TV camera crews must stop filming and direct attention at the flag too. Just seems fair.” He later added, “Forced patriotism is the opposite of freedom.”

About the new policy, Trump told Fox News, “You have to stand, proudly, for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country”.

The NFL Player’s Association said the union will “review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”

No responses yet

Nov 20 2018

Sculptor to teach animation maquettes at VAB Creative Studio

Published by under Uncategorized

Friday, May 26, 2006

Brampton, ON — On Wednesday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m., sculptor Alvaro Cervantes will host a meet and greet at the Visual Arts Brampton Creative Studio. Cervantes will be showing his precise sculptures to guests, and promoting his upcoming multi-week workshop at the studio. The course is open to students who love cartoon, no matter their skill levels or experience sculpting.

“We’re extremely pleased to present such a unique course at VAB,” group president Keith Moreau commented. “Alvaro is a master of his craft, and students are sure to benefit immensely from the experience.”

Alvaro has specialized in maquettes for 16 years, creating sculptures used by companies including Disney, Pixar, and Marvel Comics. His works have served as reference for animators, and as prototypes for toys. Some of his most recent work is for the Disney-Pixar film Cars, which will was released today in theatres. Cervantes has taught the workshop at Oakville’s Sheridan College, home of a respected Animation BA program.

The meet-and-greet is free for everyone. The timing and price of the course will be established by Wednesday.

The Visual Arts Brampton Creative Studio is located in the Bartley’s Square Mall, at the corner of Hurontario and Steeles Avenue. The studio is the only suite in the lower level, and is accessible through a glassed in lobby.

For more information on the meet-and-greet or the course, contact visualartsbrampton@gmail.com, or phone 905-453-9142.

No responses yet

Nov 20 2018

Ft. Wayne, Indiana burn center treats Afghan child

Published by under Uncategorized

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Doctors at the regional burn center at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana are treating a patient flown in from war-torn Afghanistan.

U.S. Army’s 113th Battalion, which is made up of Indiana National Guardsman, discovered five-year-old Zia after a propane explosion in suburban Kabul earlier this year destroyed homes and killed six of the boy’s family members.

The blast left Zia with third degree burns on his arms, torso and legs. Guardsmen, familiar with the Fort Wayne burn center, worked with non-profit group, Northeast Indiana Burn Council to raised $18,500 to fly Zia, accompanied by his father Abdul Qahir, to Fort Wayne for treatment.

Upon arrival, he was rushed to the St. Joseph burn unit, where after a few days of recovery fromtravel, underwent his first surgery June 23. The second and final surgery was postponed ninedays from an original date of July 2 because the boy developed an infection in one of his wounds,which is common for burn patients.

The second surgery grafted skin onto burn wounds on Zia’s arm, chest and the second toe on hisright foot. Tuesday, doctors said Zia was recovering and appeared to be in good spirits. Inpreparation for their planned return trip to Afghanistan in September, doctors are teaching Zia’sfather physical therapy techniques needed for further recovery. “Without good therapy, he couldbe right back where we started,” Dr. John Mancoll, the lead surgeon on the case, said in aninterview with the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette newspaper.

No responses yet

Nov 20 2018

Katrina raised gas prices higher than ever

Published by under Uncategorized

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The retail price of gasoline has risen higher than ever in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The losses from the deadly hurricane include the destruction of oil refineries all around the Mexican Gulf area, and resulted in a cut of nearly 11 percent of U.S. refining capacity.

It is estimated that 897,605 barrels of oil production has been curtailed, an amount which accounts for nearly 59.8% percent of the Gulf of Mexico’s total daily output. Since Katrina, 17.1 million barrels have not been produced. There were 122 oil platforms shut down, out of 819 platforms in the Gulf.

The national average retail price for gas was $3.04 on Sunday. This exceeds the previous inflation-adjusted record of $3.03, set in March of 1981.

The survey was published by Trilby Lundberg, who publishes such surveys semi-monthly.

These prices are all “thanks to Katrina,” said Lundberg.

Lundberg also says that prices could drop in the next few weeks, as the hurricane damaged areas are repaired, and less gas is being purchased nationwide because of lowered demand due to higher prices.

No responses yet

Nov 20 2018

UK petrol prices rise to five-month high

Published by under Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 28, 2006Petrol prices across the UK rose to an average of 91.1p per litre (U.S. $6.02 per U.S. gallon) of premium unleaded on Tuesday, which is the highest they have been for five months. Prices have been rising ever since December 2005, when they reached a trough in the current cycle of 87.6p a litre ($5.79/gal.), and have gained about 1.5p a litre (2.6 cents) in the last 10 days.

Across the UK, petrol prices ranged from 86.9p to 100.9p ($5.74 to $6.67) for unleaded and 89.9p to 105.9p ($5.94 to $7.00) for diesel.

These figures coincide with the results of a motorists survey from AA Personal Loans, which showed that most drivers are ignorant of petrol prices. Just 14% of those surveyed were able to correctly give the current price of petrol. Out of 1700 people surveyed, the lowest estimate was 69p a litre ($4.56/gal.) and the highest was £3 a litre ($19.83/gal.).

No responses yet

Nov 19 2018

Fire reported at One HSBC Center in downtown Buffalo, New York

Published by under Uncategorized

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Buffalo, New York —According to scanner frequencies of the Buffalo, New York fire department, smoke was reported on at least five floors at the northeast side at One HSBC Center in downtown Buffalo. The call came in around 10:50 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Friday January 18, not long after the ending of the NHL hockey game: the Sabres versus the Atlanta Thrashers which was held at HSBC Arena, a few blocks away from the tower.

According to firefighters communications the people that were on the 22nd floor made it out of the building safely. Firefighters saw “white smoke of varying intensities, believed to have been electrical” on floors 9 through 13. The source of the smoke was not identified, but the first alarm was on the 13th floor, followed by the 10th then the 9th.

Because of the cold temperatures and wind chills in the 10’s, workers at the tower were allowed back into the first floor, which has been cleared by firefighters earlier in the call.

At 11:41 p.m., firefighters gave the all clear to begin packing up with no conclusion as to where the smoke originated. They used ventilation fans to clear the floors of smoke and then shut them off to see if anymore smoke would reappear, which it did not. Remaining employees and personnel have since been allowed back to work. No damage is reported.

The tower, built in 1970, is the tallest in Buffalo and is home several agencies including the Consulate General of Canada. HSBC currently occupies 75% of the tower which has 40 floors. It stands at 529 feet (161.2 meters) tall.

No responses yet

Nov 18 2018

Hillary Clinton’s song contest reaches final round

Published by under Uncategorized

Friday, June 1, 2007

U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton has been asking webizens to vote on her official campaign song. Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle sent an email today to previous voters, urging them to choose a song in the second and final round of voting.

Clinton, as many of the other candidates, have been using “Web 2.0” applications like YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, and blogs to try and engage young voters.

The top five songs in Round One were “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall, “Rock This Country!” by Shania Twain, “Beautiful Day” by U2, “Get Ready” by The Temptations, and “I’m a Believer” by Smash Mouth. Five top write-ins were also added to the list of round 2 nominees: “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police, “You and I” by Celine Dion, and “The Best” by Tina Turner.

Many of the nominated songs are from international artists; Tunstall is Scottish, Twain is Canadian, and U2 are Irish.

No responses yet

Nov 17 2018

Firefighters rescue nearly a dozen animals in Buffalo, New York house fire

Published by under Uncategorized

Friday, June 22, 2007

Buffalo, New York —A three alarm fire at a house owned by John and Evelyn Bencinich, two of the initiators of a lawsuit filed against the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, required firefighters to rescue eight cats and two dogs in Buffalo, New York today.

At about 8:30 (eastern time) firefighters were called to the home on 48 Granger Place to put out a fire that had started in the basement. It quickly spread to the first floor where the main bathroom was destroyed. The fire did not spread to the second floor or attic.

Initial calls said that many animals were inside the house and firefighters quickly worked to rescue all the cats and dogs. At least one cat and one dog had to receive CPR and oxygen, but both are reported to be in stable condition. At least 3 cats are unaccounted for, but after a search of the house, the cats were not believed to have been inside at the time the fire started.

One elderly woman, Anna Bencinich, the mother of Evelyn, was rescued by neighbors who helped her from the burning house.

“There was smoke all over the house. The fire started in the basement and spread to a small portion of the first floor. Two firefighters were injured while fighting the fire and were transported to Erie County Medical Center,” said Division Fire Chief Thomas Ashe who also said that sections of the kitchen wall at the back of the house had to be torn out to stop the fire from spreading through the walls.

One firefighter is being treated for bite injuries to his face that he received while attempting to rescue a dog. The other firefighter was treated for injuries he received to his hand, which was believed to have been caused by glass or a cat scratching him. The names of the injured firefighters are not known. The injuries are said to not be life threatening.

According to witness reports, the home owners had a new water heater installed just last week, but it is not known if the fire was caused by the heater.

“We believe the fire was caused by an electrical (malfunction). An investigation is being conducted,” said Battalion Chief Joe Fahey who also added that they did not believe arson was the cause.

No responses yet

Next »