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September 30, 2006

Ignatieff leads in early Canadian Liberal delegate count

Ignatieff leads in early Canadian Liberal delegate count

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Canada
Other Canadian stories
  • 22 October 2014: One confirmed dead after shooting at National War Memorial in Ottawa
  • 3 July 2014: Indian space agency launches five foreign satellites
  • 29 June 2014: Canada wins 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship
  • 28 June 2014: Germany and Canada into 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships final
  • 27 June 2014: Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals
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Michael Ignatieff has emerged as the early leader in this weekend’s delegate selection votes for the Liberal Party of Canada leadership convention. With the results of 169 of 465 Delegate Selection Meetings reported, Ignatieff leads with 563 delegates elected (32.2%) followed by two candidates vying for second place. Former Ontario Premier Bob Rae and Environment minister Stephane Dion are in a neck-in-neck battle for second place with Rae having 341 delegates (19.5%) to Dion’s 331 (18.4%). Lagging behind in fourth place is Gerard Kennedy who has the support of 235 delegates (13.4%).

The rest of the candidates are below 10% support, Scott Brison has 4.9% of delegates followed by former hockey great Ken Dryden with 4.7%, Joe Volpe with 3.4% and Martha Hall Findlay with 1.1%. A further 1.9% of delegates were elected as “undeclared” meaning they will be free to vote for whomever they want on the first ballot of the convention being held in December

Press reports had suggested that Ignatieff, a former Harvard professor and current Toronto MP would be in a head to head battle with Rae who recently joined the Liberal Party after leaving the New Democratic Party. However, Rae’s tenure leading an unsuccessful NDP government from 1990 to 1995 may have contributed to his worse than expected showing in Ontario where he has come in third place winning 15.1% of the province’s delegates thus far.

Almost 200,000 party members are eligible to vote in the “Super Weekend” of delegate selection meetings being held across Canada until tomorrow. 4,300 delegates are being selected by riding associations this weekend. They will join approximately 850 ex-officio delegates and 100 delegates elected by other bodies in the party at the leadership convention being held in Montreal on December 2nd and 3rd.

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Wikipedia
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Liberal Party of Canada leadership convention, 2006

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Brazilian passenger jet wreck found in Amazon jungle

Brazilian passenger jet wreck found in Amazon jungle

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Boeing 737 similar to the one that crashed.

A Brazilian passenger jet operated by budget airline Gol Transportes Aéreos that was reported missing whilst on route to Rio de Janeiro via Brasilia from Manaus has been located by the Brazilian Air Force. The wreckage of the Boeing 737, Flight 1907, which was carrying 149 passengers and 6 crew was spotted in the rural state of Mato Grosso in the Amazon rainforest. There are no survivors.

At least 20 of the passengers of the flight were employees of Yamaha Corp.

José Carlos Pereira, president of the Brazilian airport authority (Infraero) told journalists, “It would be very difficult for anyone to survive such a crash. Our experience shows that when one cannot find the fuselage relatively intact and when the wreckage is concentrated in a relatively small area, the chances of finding any survivors are practically non-existent”

Gol released a statement saying “The wreckage of the plane was found 30 kilometres north of the Peixoto Azevedo municipality”

Troops are currently attempting to make their way through the dense jungle to the wreckage on foot.

Many relatives and friends desperate for information gathered at airports in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus during the night.

Aviation officials now say that initial reports that the airliner collided with a smaller private plane cannot be confirmed.

Gol, which was founded in 2001, say that the plane was new and had only come into service this month.

A passenger list and further information can be found on the Gol website. Further information for family members can be found by calling 0800 2800749.

Sources

Wikipedia
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Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907

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Al-Qaeda\’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri appears in new videotape

Al-Qaeda’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri appears in new videotape

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Al-Qaeda
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Photo from the FBI‘s website of Ayman al-Zawahri.

Al-Qaeda’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri has appeared in a new videotape in which he calls President George W. Bush a “liar” and a “failure” in the war against terrorism. The video, which is 18 minutes long and titled “Bush, the Pope, Darfur and the Crusades” was released by IntelCenter and was produced by the media agency al-Sahab.

“Can’t you be honest at least once in your life, and admit that you are a deceitful liar who intentionally deceived your nation when you drove them to war in Iraq?” said Zawahiri.

“Bush, you deceitful charlatan, 3 1/2 years have passed since your capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, so how have you found us during this time? Losing and surrendering? Or are we launching attacks with God’s help and becoming martyrs? What you have perpetrated against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other Muslim captives in your prisons and the prisons of your slaves in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and elsewhere is not hidden from anyone, and we are a people who do not sleep under oppression and who do not abandon our revenge until our chests have been healed of those who have committed aggression against us,” added Zawahiri.

“Your agents in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan have captured thousands of the youth and soldiers of Islam whom you made to taste at your hands and the hands of your agents various types of punishment and torture. They are countering arguments that individuals have been able to provide useful information and they are continuing to reinforce their intentions for revenge,” continued Zawahiri.

In the video, Zawahiri also criticizes the Pope Benedict XVI for comments he made against Muslims in a speech on September 12, 2006 and also calls for the Pope and all Christians to “become Muslims.”

“This charlatan Benedict brings back to our memories the speech of his predecessor charlatan Urban II in the 11th century … in which he instigated Europeans to fight Muslims and launch the Crusades because he (Urban) claimed ‘atheist Muslims, the enemies of Christ’ are attacking the tomb of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him,” said Zawahiri.

“If Benedict attacked us, we will respond to his insults with good things. We will call upon him and all of the Christians to become Muslims who do not recognize the Trinity or the crucifixion,” added Zawahiri.

Zawahiri also said that sending any peacekeepers to the Darfur Region of Sudan is a “crusader plan” and that all Muslims in the region “should defend themselves.”

“There is a Crusader plan to send Crusaders forces to Darfur that is about to become a new field of the Crusades war. Oh, nation of Islam, rise up to defend your land from the Crusaders aggression who are coming wearing United Nations masks. No one will defend you (Darfur) but a popular holy war,” said Zawahiri.

The U.S. intelligence agency, the CIA has confirmed that the tape is authentic and that the person appearing in the video is Zawahiri.

“After conducting a technical analysis of the videotape, the CIA can confirm with confidence that the voice on the tape is that of Ayman al-Zawahri,” said spokeswoman for the CIA, Michele Neff.

It is not known exactly when the video was made, but United States officials say that it was written after September 12, the day of the Pope’s speech.

This is the 48th video released by al-Qaeda this year. Zawahiri appeared in 14 of those videos.

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Letter from 1988 says Iran needed to aquire nuclear weapons to win the war with Iraq

Letter from 1988 says Iran needed to aquire nuclear weapons to win the war with Iraq

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

A letter that had been written in 1988 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the 1979 Iranian Revolution and is Iran’s former Supreme Leader has been made public by Iran’s former president Hashemi Rafsanjani and states that Iran needed to acquire nuclear weapons in an attempt to win the war with Iraq. The letter was reportadly sent to “political leaders” while the Iran-Iraq war was taking place.

BBC News says the letter states what would be needed if Iran was willing to continue any battle with the country of Iraq. Khomeini says that “more aircraft, helicopters, men and weapons” would be needed to continue the fight and that “within five years, need laser-guided and atomic weapons in order to win the war” with Iraq.

BBC News also say that Khomeini states Iran’s economy “was operating at a level below zero.” He also said that people who were needed to volunteer for battle were “in short supply.”

The letter also states that Khomeini was “forced” into a cease-fire of the Iran-Iraq war, which he says is “like drinking poison.”

Khomeini died in 1989.

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September 29, 2006

Sony plans global replacement of laptop batteries

Sony plans global replacement of laptop batteries

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Friday, September 29, 2006

A Sony laptop.

After several laptop producers recalled a total of about 7 million products containing Sony batteries, the Sony Corporation said it will “initiate a global replacement program… in order to address concern related to recent over-heating incidents.”

Sony previously admitted the recalls announced by Apple and Dell would cost up to 30 billion yen, which is a quarter of Sony’s profits in 2005. Several news sources expect this to reflect badly on the company, as it adds to problems with the PlayStation 3 and Blu-Ray DVD. Since Dell announced recalls in August, Sony’s stock has lost almost 9% of its value.

Keeping up with competitors like Apple and Dell, Toshiba and Lenovo have started recalling laptops with the lithium ion batteries. Dell expanded its program to include about 4.2 million portables. Following Sony’s statement, Fujitsu too declared it would replace the batteries involved. A spokesperson for Toshiba added that the company doesn’t expect there to be any problems with personal computers, but it will replace their Sony batteries anyway, over customer concerns. However, the company doesn’t expect to pick up the tab for it.

A Lenovo laptop with the problem battery caught fire in Los Angeles Airport earlier this month. Consequently, Virgin Atlantic added them to a blacklist of prohibited laptops on their flights. According to Sony, microscopic metal particles are to blame for overheating and potentially catching fire “under certain rare conditions”.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advised ThinkPad users who want to continue using their portable to switch it off, remove the battery and continue with the AC adapter and power cord.

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Filmmaker Peter Jackson to make Xbox games

Filed under: Archived,New Zealand — admin @ 5:00 am

Filmmaker Peter Jackson to make Xbox games

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Friday, September 29, 2006

New Zealand
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Photograph taken of Peter Jackson in 2003.

New Zealand filmmaker, Peter Jackson and screenwriter Fran Walsh announced at the X06 convention, Wednesday, that they are teaming up with Microsoft to create Xbox and Xbox 360 games with their new company, Wingnut Interactive.

Wingnut Interactive will initially create another video game based on sci-fi series Halo with help from Microsoft and Bungie Studios, but staffed locally in Wellington. His second project can be whatever he likes, while trying to bring new people into the world of gaming.

Peter Jackson spoke to New Zealand news broadcaster, 3 News and said: “I want to able to experiment with ways of telling stories that’s not using the structure of a movie. It’s immersive and interactive, but it goes beyond (today’s) games. It’s what we’ve been looking forward to for 10 years. I’m sure it will start small and if things go well it will expand to fit whatever this turns into.”

Simon McCallum, computer scientist from the University of Otago, said: “For the new company to succeed it would probably need to employ a mix of industry veterans and about 20 or 30 top computer science graduates. However, at the moment New Zealand would struggle to fill any new jobs. In the past two years demand for computer science graduates had tripled while supply had halved.”

The New Zealand Game Developers Association said around 140 people work in the development of video games in New Zealand. They say the industry is worth between NZ$8 million and $10 million each year. “There is a lot of potential to do something very very big and something very revolutionary. We’ll just have to see what happens when the game comes out in a few years time, whether they deliver on that,” said Mario Wynands, from the New Zealand Game Developers Association.

David Mclean, director of Australia and New Zealand Xbox, said: “The whole ten billion dollar video games business will be looking at New Zealand and what Peter Jackson produces. There is no release date yet, because Jackson will take as long as necessary to ensure the games meet his exacting standards.”

Kerry Prendergast, mayor of Wellington said: “The venture’s potential boost to Wellington’s economy is enormous. Certainly the early advice I have is that it is worth millions of dollars and more jobs in our city.”

Peter Jackson is the producer for the movie version of Halo which is to be shot next year, in Wellington. Jackson also worked with Ubisoft to produce the King Kong video game.

Jackson said: “Xbox has fundamentally changed how people think about games. My vision, together with Microsoft Game Studios, is to push the boundaries of game development and the future of interactive entertainment.”

Microsoft also announced at X06 that it is releasing a HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360, which will come bundled with a free HD-DVD version of King Kong for a limited time only.

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Ex-Liberal president declares for Toronto mayoralty

Ex-Liberal president declares for Toronto mayoralty

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Canada
Other Canadian stories
  • 22 October 2014: One confirmed dead after shooting at National War Memorial in Ottawa
  • 3 July 2014: Indian space agency launches five foreign satellites
  • 29 June 2014: Canada wins 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship
  • 28 June 2014: Germany and Canada into 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships final
  • 27 June 2014: Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals
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The field of candidates running to lead the City of Toronto became larger today as former Liberal Party of Canada president Stephen LeDrew threw his hat in the contest for mayor of Canada’s largest city. LeDrew is running against incumbent Mayor of Toronto David Miller, who is seeking a second term and city councillor Jane Pitfield, who was considered Miller’s main challenger until today. With LeDrew entering the race there are a total of 38 candidates running for the position. The election takes place on November 13, 2006.

Miller is a centre-left politician with links to the New Democratic Party though he also has support from some Liberals and Conservatives. His opponents have been looking for a candidate to challenge him in light of what has been perceived as Jane Pitfield’s faltering candidacy. LeDrew considered supporting Pitfield but, calling her “Calamity Jane” because of the mistakes she’s made in her campaign, concluded she could not unseat the mayor. After other high-profile figures such as former Members of Parliament Dennis Mills and Sergio Marchi and former police chief Julian Fantino declined to enter the contest as a centre or centre-right candidate, LeDrew decided to enter the race. Today was the last day to register as a candidate.

LeDrew has never run for public office though he has many years of experience as a “back room” operative in the Liberal Party and in municipal politics. In 2005, he declared bankruptcy and was ordered to pay 74% of the $364,000 he owed in back taxes.

“The evidence is that LeDrew consciously and continually neglected to pay income tax installments when due and appeared to regard his obligation to pay income tax as subordinate to all other personal obligations,” wrote Justice John Ground of the Superior Court of Justice.

LeDrew says he was trying to pay off his tax debt but also had to pay personal expenses such as school fees for his children.

“I’d gone through a divorce. I was in a law firm … that broke up and I lost money in that. I had four children to put into schools.”

“I was also working 2,000 hours a year (as a) volunteer as Liberal Party president. I said , ‘I owe taxes. The taxpayer can wait. My children can not.'”

“I was proud of my choices, my priorities,” he told the Toronto Star. “I’d do it again. Any father knows his children are the most important thing.”

Sources

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Toronto municipal election, 2006
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Bomb kills soldier in Afghanistan

Bomb kills soldier in Afghanistan – Wikinews, the free news source

Bomb kills soldier in Afghanistan

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Canada
Other Canadian stories
  • 22 October 2014: One confirmed dead after shooting at National War Memorial in Ottawa
  • 3 July 2014: Indian space agency launches five foreign satellites
  • 29 June 2014: Canada wins 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship
  • 28 June 2014: Germany and Canada into 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships final
  • 27 June 2014: Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals
…More articles here
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A Canadian NATO soldier was killed today in Afghanistan by a bomb while on patrol in Panjwaii district, west of Kandahar on foot. He died around 1 p.m. local time (UTC+4:30).

Military officials have not yet released the name of the soldier. The soldier is from CFB Petawawa located in Ottawa.

His remains were taken by a helicopter to the Kandahar Airfield. One soldier from Hamilton, Ontario was reported to have suffered minor hearing loss as a result of the blast.

Earlier today at 12 p.m., there was a rally called Red Friday for the Canadian troops in Afghanistan held in the Younge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Ontario. Many in Toronto wore red in support for the troops. It was announced at the rally that the Canadian soldier was killed by a bomb.

Ten Canadian soldiers have died in September. Thirty-seven Canadians have died in Afghanistan since 2002.

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Protesters block day-care centres in Denmark

Filed under: Archived,Denmark,Europe,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Protesters block day-care centres in Denmark

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Friday, September 29, 2006

A standoff is forming in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, located mainly in the Region Central Jutland, with politicians seeking to make budgetary cuts for 2007 on one side, and parents, paedagogs and elderly-care professionals on the other.

The dispute broke out on Friday, September 22, when day-care centres across the city were blockaded by parents, teachers and other city council employees. At one point, the city council asked the police to intervene to break the blockades of the day-centres, although a last-minute change of heart by the council averted direct confrontation.

The parents feel that the quality of day-care centers has declined, which they attribute to budget cuts. Further ire was seen when Mayor Henning G. Jensen “magically” found an additional 60 million DKK for his budget. The protesters saw this as evidence that he had tried to hide money.

Denmark’s Interior Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has also voiced concern that the mayor knew that the money was there all the while.

The strike is ongoing and has now spread widely in Denmark and even some localities near Copenhagen, the Danish capital, have been experiencing strikes by public sector employees.

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Indian Air Chief Marshal warns of impending Pakistani air superiority

Filed under: Archived,Asia,India,Pakistan,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Indian Air Chief Marshal warns of impending Pakistani air superiority

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Friday, September 29, 2006

The top-brass of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has sent a three-page letter to Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, warning him that the IAF is in danger of losing its long-standing air-superiority over Pakistan. In the letter the following statement is given,

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is being beefed up with 44 F16s from America. They have a clearly defined goal of attaining parity with the IAF. With China supplying J 10 and JF 17 aircraft (fitted with Russian engines), PAF force levels of combat squadron will increase.

Unless steps are taken to move ahead with procurement, the IAF’s combat strength will deplete to a level, which would entirely neutralise the conventional superiority held by IAF since our Independence. PAF will have 19 to 26 squadrons by 2011-12, while the IAF could reduce to 26.5 by 2015.

– Air Chief Marshal Tyagi

Additional Director of Air Power Studies, Kapil Kak said, “This aircraft induction will take at least 10 years from today and in those 10 years, the MiG 21’s will progress if they get wound down. Their total technical life and design life will end and we will have the Air Force combat force strength winding down, worryingly fast.”

Several inductions planned by the IAF, such as the HAL Tejas and the proposed Multirole Medium Range Combat Aircraft, have been delayed. In his letter, the Air Chief Marshal has asked the Government to acquire 40 Su-30 MKIs from Russia as soon as possible, induct the 126 Multirole Medium Range Combat Aircraft at the earliest and also urge Russia to honour their commitment of not allowing China to sell planes with Russian engines to Pakistan.

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