Nov 12 2019

‘Crown Fire’ forces residents in Southern California to evacuate homes

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Antelope Valley, California — A huge wildfire that has been burning in the High Desert of Southern California since 2:00 pm (2200 UTC) yesterday continues to threaten residents in the city of Palmdale in the Antelope Valley region of the Los Angeles County this afternoon. Mandatory evacuation orders have been set in place, affecting 2,000 homes.

The fire is one of three that ignited yesterday in the Mojave Desert and San Gabriel Mountains. The first was a 30-acre fire that began to the west of Lancaster in the Fairmont area. It was contained and suppressed by mid-afternoon, but the other two fires ignited while firefighters were battling the first. The second fire, the “Briggs Fire”, began shortly after 2:00 pm near 8334 Soledad Canyon Road and Briggs Road, south of the freeway. It burned 500 acres south of the 14 Freeway, but the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD) now has it contained, and firefighters are hopeful that it will burn itself out as it edges closer to the 160,577-acre burn area of last year’s Station Fire. The third fire, the “Crown Fire”, broke out at around the same time as the Briggs Fire on the northern side of the 14 Freeway near Acton. The Crown fire has so far burned 13,000 acres and has been heading north into Leona Valley and Palmdale.

Over 800 firefighters are now tackling the Crown Fire on the ground, Boeing 747 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 fixed-wing aircraft have taken to the skies to drop Phos-Chek slurry (a red powdery fire retardant that is a mixture of mostly water and fertilizer, and doesn’t evaporate) on the fire, and modified Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters known as “Firehawks” are making water-drops. As well as LACFD, firefighters from Los Angeles City Fire Department, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) are also helping to battle the fire. Weather conditions and topography have hindered their efforts, as temperatures rose to 98 degrees Fahrenheit today, with windspeeds of 25mph. Tonight, the National Weather Service predicts winds will reach as high as 50mph.

The fire burned down a Los Angeles County Sheriff Department communications tower, forcing Lancaster and Palmdale-based deputies to set up mobile operations bases and coordinate their efforts using cell phones and computers. Last night, the California Aqueduct acted as a barrier to the fire.

Residents of Leona Valley, Lake Elizabeth, Ritter Ranch, Rancho Vista, Ana Verde and Palmdale received Reverse 911 telephone calls last night alerting them of mandatory evacuations. Many of the evacuation orders were lifted this morning as the spread of the fire decreased. However, as winds picked up in the afternoon, fire embers were carried across the aqueduct and the fire is now heading towards a highly-populated area of Palmdale. Residents who were allowed back into their homes were re-evacuated to Red Cross shelters set up in local schools and parks.The fire is also threatening five high-voltage power lines that supply electricity to much of Southern California. 21 customers in the immediate vicinity have been without power since yesterday.

At 5:00 pm, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, police and fire officials held a press conference. The governor said that the fire was 20% contained and had burned 13,000 acres. It is thought that the fire began when workers in Agua Dulce caused sparks by hammering the bolts when they were removing a tire from a rim.

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Oct 31 2019

Oscar Foreign Film race narrowed to nine films

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nine films have advanced to “Phase II” of the 80th Academy Awards Foreign Language Film race, out of 63 international films entered.

They are:

Several hundred Los Angeles-based members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, which hosts the “Oscars”, screened the eligible films to determine the shortlist. The nominees will be decided by 10 random members from the “Phase I” group, and ten Los Angeles and New York members specially invited to participate. They will view the screenings in marathon viewings, from Friday, January 18 to Sunday, January 20, in both cities.

Nominations will be announced Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at the AMPAS headquarters. The award ceremony, if not interrupted by the WGA writers’ strike, will air Sunday, February 24, 2008, at the Kodak Theatre.

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Oct 30 2019

Foreign investment rises in Romania by 19 percent

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Thursday, August 4, 2005

Romania’s level of foreign direct investment rose by 19% in the first six months (January-July) of 2005 when compared to the same period of 2004, according to the Romanian Agency for Foreign Investment (ARIS). The country recorded US$750 million of foreign investment in this period, and 56 total investment projects, in comparison to 40 projects between January and July 2004. The majority of the investments occurred in the BucharestIlfov region, which includes the Romanian capital.

The rise in foreign investment is mainly attributed due to a more liberal taxation policy introduced by the Romanian government on January 1, 2005, which centres around a 16% flat tax on personal income and corporate profit. Additionally, the country’s expected membership of the European Union in 2007 and its relatively stable political climate also led to an increase in foreign investment in 2005.

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Oct 30 2019

How To Shop For Small Business Bookkeeping In Mountain House, Ca

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If you own your own business, then you are probably already aware just how easy it can be to get lost in the paper work and legalities of ensuring your companies bookkeeping is kept up to date. If you don’t stay on top of this responsibility, then it can make doing your end of year tax preparations more complicated to complete. If you are tired of trying to do this on your own, then you should consider hiring a company to help you with your Bookkeeping in Mountain House, CA. Don’t let the process of finding a firm to help you with your accounting overwhelm you.Use the following three tips so you can make the process easy and worry free.

ReferencesAsk the company you are thinking about using to provide you with references. This should include a list of current clients that you can contact to ask questions about the service they receive. Don’t hire a company until you independently verify their ability to properly maintain your bookkeeping records. This will help ensure you get all the help you deserve.

Licenses and TrainingAsk the firm that you use what training and licenses the employees they hire have. If they don’t use individuals that have the proper training, then it could cause your books to become even more confusing and complicated to understand. After you are given the training infomrat6ion, make sure you research the certifications so you can have an understanding of the education they have.

FeesThe money you pay for the services you receive will vary depending on the size of your business and your current needs. The company you choose may charge a flat fee, or per form that they fill out on your behalf. Make sure you understand all of the fees you are expected to pay upfront, so you can properly budget for the Bookkeeping in Mountain House, CA that you need for your business.

With the right research you can find a bookkeeper who will be able to keep your companies financial information on point. In the Mountain House area, make sure you contact Tax Care Pro by calling them today, or Browse their website for more information. They have over 20 years of experience so you are sure to get the expert help and advice you need to keep your companies financial documents in order now, and in the future.

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Oct 18 2019

1 million people welcome 2007 in Sydney

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Monday, January 1, 2007

A crowd of approximately 1 million has welcomed the new year in Sydney overnight. Many of the crowd had camped out since 6 AM AEDT (7PM UTC) to ensure they had the best vantage point for the fireworks displays at 9 PM and 12 AM. Earlier predictions of rain failed to dampen enthusiastic revellers and fortunately did not eventuate.

According to police, vantage points were Circular Quay and Sydney Opera House closed around 7 PM.

This year’s theme was “A diamond night in Emerald City” and celebrated the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s diamond anniversary of 75 years which will fall in March.

As usual, the bridge became the centre piece of Sydney’s celebrations with a question mark turning into a coat hanger during the 9 PM fireworks show before a diamond appeared at 11 PM.

Entertainment was held in the city throughout the day, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display at midnight. Revellers counted down the final seconds of 2006 with numbers on the side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The festivities are estimated to have cost AUD $4 million and organisers claim their fireworks display is “the largest in the world”. Sydney’s celebrations were broadcast on television live around the world as other countries prepared their New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Despite the large crowd, police made only 58 arrests for offences including offensive conduct, stealing, assaulting police, goods in custody, assault, drink driving and affray.

Ambulance officers were called to 1,139 incidents in Sydney with another 900 in country areas.

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Oct 15 2019

Virtual orchestra opens in London

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

A virtual orchestra opened in London on August 19th 2006 outside the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank. But unlike a normal orchestra, this one features 58 specially designed cube-shaped seats which activate a musicical note. As more people sit down on the seats, more of the score is revealed.

The music will be added to an online sample library. Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of South Bank Centre, said: “This is exactly the way we are looking at developing our site by fusing the community with the artistic world of ideas and technology in our many versatile spaces.”

Alistair Mackie, chairman of the Philharmonia Orchestra, said: “Central to the Philharmonia Orchestra’s vision is exploiting new media to take music out to the widest possible audience, breaking down the barriers which have stood in the way of their access and enjoyment.”

Bethany, aged 10, went to the orchestra launch and she said: “It is a good experience. You get to see what it’s like to be in a real orchestra.” One of the main aims of the virtual orchestra is to get more people interested in classical music.

Every Saturday, a musician from the Philharmonic Orchestra will be visiting and they will bring their sound recording equipment.

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Oct 10 2019

Software giant Adobe Systems to acquire Magento Commerce for US$1.68 billion

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

On Monday, San Jose, California, US-based software company Adobe Systems announced their plans to acquire California-based e-commerce handling web service Magento Commerce for 1.68 billion US dollars (USD). After Adobe made the announcement via their official website, Adobe’s stocks rose by around one percent, ending Monday extended trading at USD 238.10 per share.

Magento provides services for the creation of digital ads and handling of online transactions. Magento’s services are used by Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Warner Music, and Canon. The acquisition, which is expected to take place in the third fiscal quarter of this year, is to be an all-cash deal. Adobe is to acquire Magento from Permira equity firm. In 2015, Permira bought Magento from eBay, an eCommerce website. Adobe, in their official statement, said, “Magento Commerce Cloud will enable commerce to be seamlessly integrated into the Adobe Experience Cloud”.

Adobe also announced a buyback of shares worth USD eight billion by 2021. Magento’s CEO Mark Lavelle said, “Adobe and Magento share a vision for the future of digital experiences that brings together Adobe’s strength in content and data with Magento’s open commerce innovation […] We’re excited to join Adobe and believe this will be a great opportunity for our customers, partners and developer community”.

After the announcement, stocks of Magento’s competitors Shopify, Inc dropped by about 4.8%. They finished extended trading at USD 137.60 after the announcement.

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Oct 10 2019

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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Oct 10 2019

Scottish Justice Secretary ‘acutely aware of unusual publicity’ in Kular case

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wikinews has obtained a letter by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to former Conservative justice spokesman John Lamont in response to questions raised by our correspondent about the Mikaeel Kular murder case. Wikinews has investigated possible contempt by media publishing potentially prejudicial material, and MacAskill wrote he has “been following the case of Mikaeel Kular and [is] acutely aware of the unusual publicity this case has attracted.”

When Mikaeel Kular, three, vanished from his Edinburgh home last month police and volunteers scoured the capital for him. His body was found in Fife just before midnight on January 17, and his mother was arrested on January 18. That’s when Wikinews first reported on possible widespread contempt by UK and Scottish media.

Our correspondent is based in Scotland and has been advised by a lawyer not to identify anybody detained until they have appeared in court, even if they have been arrested and charged. Professor James Chalmers of the University of Glasgow has since reviewed our coverage and confirmed this position. Despite that a large number of major media outlets identified Rosdeep Adekoya, nee Kular, 33, as the arrested individual.

Adekoya has since been in Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with murdering her son. She is in custody pending indictment and trial, but any eyewitness evidence may be tainted because her image has been widely published. This is common practice elsewhere in the UK but Scottish justice works differently and courts have viewed publication of photos as potentially prejudicial. Professor Pamela Ferguson of the University of Dundee notes “journalists do seem to be walking a dangerous line if publishing photos etc of suspects.” Crown Office, which is in overall charge of prosecutions, has indicated to journalists that no further comment will be made at least until indictment.

MacAskill however expressed confidence in the Scottish court system to deal with the situation. “I am confident… the courts themselves will intervene if they believe publicity is in danger of being prejudicial.” He also wrote to Lamont that he has faith in the court to successfully direct any jury that may try the case in order to maintain fairness.

The courts have said that the only safe route to avoid committing a contempt is to avoid publishing a photograph

The Contempt of Court Act 1981 is designed to prevent prejudicial material going in front of juries before trial. Although UK-wide legislation, the law is interpreted differently north of the border than in England and Wales. Witnesses in Scotland may be asked to identify accused persons standing in the dock. The BBC College of Journalism advises legal advice be sought ahead of publishing photos and notes it has previously been ruled contempt. The BBC used the accused’s photo prominently in their own online coverage.

Chalmers explains: “It may be a contempt of court to create a substantial risk of serious prejudice to someone’s right to a fair trial. A photograph might do this in a case where identification is an issue; on the face of it, that does not seem especially likely in this case, but it is impossible to know for certain at this point. The courts have said that the only safe route to avoid committing a contempt is to avoid publishing a photograph, but that does not mean that publishing a photograph is automatically a contempt.” MacAskill noted “the kind of issue that publicity might raise may become apparent only during the trial itself.”

Contempt has been a considerable issue in the UK in recent years after high-profile cases. In one instance a charge against serial killer Levi Bellfield was dropped owing to publicity while the jury were deliberating; in another, newspapers were fined and sued for libel over reporting on the arrest of a suspect who turned out to be innocent in a prominent investigation.

A proposal was mooted to ban identification of suspects arrested anywhere in the UK, but this was subsequently shelved. MacAskill confirmed “the Scottish Government is content with the way the courts are operating the rules on contempt of court in Scotland at the moment and has no plans to make changes.” He also wrote of the difficulties with trying to individually cover all eventualities with prescriptive legislation, saying “A trial for a sexual offence will raise very different issues — particularly of protecting victims — from those that are raised by a tax fraud trial.”

MacAskill says it is the Scottish Government’s position that the task of “counterbalancing the public interest in reporting with upholding the criminal law should be left to those whose job it is to do so — the courts and the judiciary, acting in the individual circumstances of the case”.

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Oct 10 2019

Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.

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