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October 31, 2006

Wikinews Shorts: October 31, 2006

Wikinews Shorts: October 31, 2006 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: October 31, 2006

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gas station workers get attacked

October 24, 2006

Two gas station workers employed at the Marathon station on Gratiot Avenue in Clinton Township were injured by a group of teenagers. According to police, “at least four people were arrested.”

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Australian workers get minimum wage increase

October 26, 2006

Australia’s Fair Pay commission has ordered a 5.6 percent wage increase for workers earning minimum wage.

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Crane falls on houses in Portland, Maine

October 30, 2006

A crane fell on houses in Portland, Maine. No one was injured.

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Three day traders\’ strike in New Delhi

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

Three day traders’ strike in New Delhi – Wikinews, the free news source

Three day traders’ strike in New Delhi

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New Delhi is experiencing the second day of a strike by traders protesting against the implementation of a Supreme Court order to seal commercial establishments violating zoning rules by operating in residential zones.

The strike has affected a very large area in New Delhi including major markets in Rohini, Chandani Chowk, Karol Bagh and south extension of Delhi. Schools were shut down yesterday but have reopened today.

A group of traders met the union urban development minister S Jaipal Reddy to air their grievances about the government’s response towards the MCD’s sealing drive. Traders also met Delhi Chief minister Sheila Dikshit to submit a memorandum calling for an end to the sealing drive.

Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders, said, they will call off the strike on Wednesday night and the continue their agitation by hunger-strike and conferences against the sealing drive. Traders refused to move back from the agitation until November 1, when Municipal Corporation of Delhi is likely to resume its sealing drive.

According to official sources, the union government is likely to file a review petition before the Supreme Court to temporarily suspend the drive and resolve this dispute as soon as possible.

After seeing the law-and-order situation in Delhi, the Supreme Court’s Monitoring committee recommended the Supreme Court not to resume the MCD’s sealing drive on November 1.

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Reserve Bank of India hikes repo rate, keeps most key interest rates stable

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Reserve Bank of India hikes repo rate, keeps most key interest rates stable

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The RBI headquarters in Mumbai

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has hiked the repo rate by 0.25 percent to 7.25 percent, keeping the reverse repo rate unchanged at 6%.

The Bank rate and the cash reserve ratio are left unchanged at 6% and 5% respectively.

In its mid-year review of monetary and regulatory policy, the Reserve Bank has forecast an annual GDP growth of 8.0%, as against the 7.5-8.0% forecast earlier in its annual policy statement and first quarter review. The Reserve Bank indicated that inflation will be contained between 5.0-5.5%, during the year 2006-07.

The Reserve Bank estimated real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2006-07 at 8.9%, up from 8.5% last year.

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Reactions to review of economic implications of climate change

Reactions to review of economic implications of climate change

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reactions to the review of the economic implications of climate change include optimism about the commercial opportunities and apprehension about possible fiscal repercussions.

The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, commissioned by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, points to the need for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions if a world-wide economic catastrophe is to be avoided. The institution of global carbon trading, control of deforestation, increased investment in energy R & D and support to poorer countries in adapting to climate change are all key proposals in the Review.

A leaked letter from David Miliband, Environment Secretary, to Chancellor Brown contains a package of tax proposals to promote the use of public transport and to encourage people to buy smaller cars and fly less. The proposals also include charges on petrol-guzzling cars, road pricing, levies on air travel and increased charges for landfill waste disposal.

The findings of the Review and the promise of a Government Climate Bill, containing measures in response to the Review, received a mixed reception from employers and unions.

Miles Templeman, Director-General of the Institute of Directors, said: “Without countries like the US, China or India making decisive commitments, UK competitiveness will undoubtedly suffer if we act alone. This would be bad for business, bad for the economy and ultimately bad for our climate.”

The Confederation of British Industries, the British Chambers of Commerce and asset managers F&C all pointed out the dangers to business of additional taxation.

Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, was optimistic about the opportunities for industry to meet demands created by investment in technology to combat climate change. The Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, formed by 14 of UK’s leading companies shared this hope. Chairman of Shell UK, James Smith, expressed the hope of the group that business and Government would discuss how Britain could obtain “first mover advantage” in what he described as “massive new global markets.”

The markets for low-carbon energy products are expected to be worth £300 billion by 2050.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, questions the assertions that there is scientific consensus on global warming. At best, he said, there is uncertainty. Politicians world-wide are jumping on the ‘green’ bandwagon, but, if they want popular support, they’d better be sure that this is not simply the ‘new witchcraft’.

Ruth Lea, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, also questions the notion that there is a ‘scientific consensus’ over global warming. She alleges that “authorities on climate science say that the climate system is far too complex for modest reductions in one of the thousands of factors involved in climate change (i.e. carbon emissions) to have a predictable effect in magnitude, or even direction.” About economic models, upon which Stern relied for his projections, her experience was that forecasting just two or three years ahead was usually wrong. She described the problem of drawing conclusions from combining scientific and economic models as ‘monumentally complex’. She doubted whether international cooperation was really possible. She concluded that she thought that this Review was designed to cloak the motives of a government that wanted some moral justification for increasing taxation on fuels.

An unconfirmed report on BBC 24 early Tuesday morning, October 31, stated that the White House had not yet seen a copy of the Stern Review.

In response to the Stern Report Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard promised a AU$60 million to fight climate change. The projects are part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. “The Asia-Pacific Partnership includes countries that represent about half of the world’s emissions, energy use, GDP (gross domestic product) and population, and is an important initiative that engages, for the first time, the key greenhouse-gas emitting countries in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Howard said in a statement.

A statement by Australian Greens senators Rachel Siewert and Christine Milne criticised the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics saying “ABARE indicated that the type of research undertaken for the Stern Report is beyond them. They can put a price on what ratifying the Kyoto protocol would cost but have no idea or capacity to put a price on the cost of not acting. They are tinkering around the edges of the problem and don’t seem to know whether climate change is real or whether there is any urgency.”

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Ontario Provincial Police: Caledonia land dispute is top priority

Ontario Provincial Police: Caledonia land dispute is top priority

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

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The newly appointed Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino told reporters on Monday that “the Caledonia land dispute is the single biggest issue facing him” and that, ” ‘lawbreakers’ in Caledonia will be dealt with swiftly, regardless of which side of the native occupation they are on.”

The Caledonia land dispute has been going on since February 28 and still has not been resolved. The native protesters occupied the Douglas Creek Estates, a housing development, southwest of Hamilton, saying that the property belongs to them.

Townspeople have repeatedly called for police to remove the protesters from the land, which is now owned by the province and being held in trust until the dispute is resolved.

“I certainly don’t expect that there will be lawbreaking that isn’t dealt with and that will be my message to our people as well, that it’s their duty and responsibility is to enforce the laws,” said OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, on his first official day on the job. “I assure that those who do break the law will be dealt with.”

While under former commissioner Gwen Boniface, who resigned last year because of the dispute, the OPP were criticised for not enforcing the law, especially when several camera people were assaulted by native protesters.

Fantino said the on-going occupation of a property by members of the Six Nations Reserve is beyond his ability to resolve. His role in the contentious dispute will be to keep the peace in the town of Caledonia.

Officials in Ontario and the federal governments are currently negotiating with Six Nations representatives.

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North Korea returns to six-party talks

North Korea returns to six-party talks – Wikinews, the free news source

North Korea returns to six-party talks

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

North Korea’s nuclear program
North Korea's nuclear program
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North Korea conducted its first nuclear test three weeks ago

North Korea has today agreed to return to the six-party talks about its nuclear programme, as announced by the Chinese and U.S. governments. This comes after Pyongyang‘s withdrawal two weeks ago after the UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose sanctions on North Korea, which were ultimately designed to remove the ability to create nuclear weapons.

United States President George W. Bush has thanked the Chinese government for assisting and persuading North Korea to return to the talks. He went on to say that “[the US will] be sending teams to the region to work with our partners to make sure that the current United Nations Security Council resolution is enforced but also make sure the talks are effective, that we achieve the result we want”. Pyongyang did not make the lifting of the sanctions a condition for the resumption of the talks.

The negotiations between the six parties, North Korea, China, the United States of America, South Korea, Russia, and Japan, could restart as early as November, said Christopher R. Hill, the chief US negotiator on North Korea. South Korea was optimistic about the resumption of the talks. “The government hopes that the six-party talks will resume at an early date as agreed,” said Choo Kyu-ho, spokesman for South Korea’s foreign ministry.

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New Zealand police lose criminal at Heathrow Airport

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

New Zealand police lose criminal at Heathrow Airport

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

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The New Zealand police lost Rafal Luczynski, a convicted drug dealer, while at London’s Heathrow Airport awaiting to be taken back to his homeland, Poland. Luczynski managed to lose the two New Zealand detectives in Terminal One on October 12.

32-year-old Luczynski was convicted three and half years ago of importing four kilograms of amphetamine (“speed”), worth an estimated $4 million. He still has eight and a half years of his twelve year sentence to serve.

The police have launched an inquiry to find out whether Luczynski’s escape was due to a procedural deficiency or or an error by the detectives. If the detectives are to be faulted, then they may face disciplinary action.

The findings of the inquiry may not be made public for security reasons. Jon Neilson, spokesman for the police, said: “I can not guarantee the findings of the review will be released, because of the secret nature of the operation.” It is expected in three to four weeks.

The police are not going to attempt to recapture the criminal. This is mainly because he was out of the New Zealand jurisdiction. “He’s no longer wanted by New Zealand police at all,” Michael Player, spokesman for the police, said, “It’s just unfortunate that he exited ahead of his destination, but really he’s now a UK responsibility. It’s up to the UK authorities to decide how much effort they put in to trying to find him.”

The Police say that a criminal evading had never happened until now, even though they do provide several escorts per week. “The policemen were rather embarrassed at losing Luczynski, who was not handcuffed when he escaped,” Player said.

Luczynski first managed to escape from New Zealand when in 2001 he was in home detention. He was not caught for two years until he was found in New York. “He seems to be a bit of a Houdini artist,” Player said.

Luczynski has connections to the Polish mafia.

Neilson said: “There was a formal notification for alerting British police if a prisoner was being handed over, but if the prisoner and escorts were in transit then it was a more straightforward procedure.”

Api Fiso, group manager of border security for the Labour Department, said: “It was the responsibility of the police, not the department, to ensure deportees reached their destinations. Though the department had an interest in the outcome of any search, it would not be taking an active role in finding Luczynski.”

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Lyricist Javed Akhtar awarded Indira Gandhi Prize

Lyricist Javed Akhtar awarded Indira Gandhi Prize

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

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Acclaimed lyricist, poet and screenplay-writer Javed Akhtar has been awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for National Integration. Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi presented Akhtar the award, in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a function in New Delhi.

Dr. Singh pointed out that the prize celebrated the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s “deep commitment to the unity and integrity of the country”, recalling Akhtar’s comments that the 2002 communal clashes in Gujarat were not a “Hindu-Muslim problem, but a clash of secularism and democracy versus fascism and intolerance”. Singh also expressed his delight at the fact that “a creative, committed, secular and patriotic Indian” was being honoured in memory of Mrs. Gandhi.

The Prime Minister also commended Akhtar’s contributions to the empowerment of women, while Sonia Gandhi (who headed the advisory committee that chose the winner) spoke about the lyricist’s efforts to fight against fundamentalism and expose the divisive forces in Indian politics.

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In a Show of Force Mexican Federal Forces Remove Oaxacan Protesters from Oaxaca City centre

Filed under: Archived,Crime and law,Mexico,South America — admin @ 5:00 am

In a Show of Force Mexican Federal Forces Remove Oaxacan Protesters from Oaxaca City centre

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

After five months of tense protests in the Oaxacan state capital, Oaxaca City, in Southern Mexico, Mexican president, Vicente Fox, ordered Federal forces to remove protesters and striking teachers from the city centre. On Sunday, Mexican police forces clothed in riot gear, armed with tear gas and assault rifles, and backed up by armoured vehicles took up positions on the edge of the city to begin their march into the city centre.

A male protester manning one barricade was killed as federal police stormed the city, Police did not immediately confirm that.

But it is still uncertain whether more than one million schoolchildren would return to classes Monday in the embattled city where riot police and burned-out vehicles still line the streets.

Oaxaca suffers from a stand-off between the state government of Oaxaca and the People’s Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), a consortium of groups including teachers, farmers, and other workers. The impetus for federal involvement in Oaxaca appears to stem from the murder of four protesters and wounding of at least one other by state-sanctioned paramilitaries on Friday the 28th. Also potentially contributing to federal interdiction could be a desire, formed following the protests in Mexico City after the country’s recent elections, to forge stronger ties between Vicente Fox’s National Action Party (PAN) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

The protests began in May as a teacher’s strike. Police and state forces – often in plain-clothes – have shot at protesters, setting off clashes in which at least eight people have died.

It is still too early to tell when federal police will withdraw from Oaxaca City. Protesters have decided to abandon the centre and regroup at a local university. The protesters accuse Ruiz of corruption and rigging elections. Daniel Reyes a teacher, told reporters “We are going to leave this area . . . while we regroup and look at strategies to recover this area,” leaving open the possibility of continued protests, extended federal occupation, and ongoing violence.

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South African rail police pilot successful, to be implemented nation wide

South African rail police pilot successful, to be implemented nation wide

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A rail police pilot program generating a 68 per cent reduction in rail-related crime in Western Cape (highlighted) will be implemented nationwide by 2008.

A successful rail police pilot in the Western Cape will now be implemented nationwide according to South African Transport Minister Joseph Radebe. Radebe announced Monday that the program, which has reportedly resulted in a 68 per cent overall decline in crime on trains and in railway stations, will be implemented throughout South Africa by 2008. More than 5,000 officers will be deployed in railway stations and on trains.

“More than 5,000 police personnel will take their rightful place in the rail environment in order to confront our security concerns. We have made an undertaking to increase our presence, particularly on strategic high volume corridors such as Khayelitsha in Cape Town, Hammanskraal in Tshwane, and Moloto in Mpumalanga, as well as links between Midrand and Thembisa,” said Radebe.

Lucky Montana, Chief Executive of the government owned Metrorail, said, “The levels of crime remain unacceptably high. That is something we are concerned about. But today, we are driving the message that the safety of commuters comes first, as a priority. We are investing millions of rands to make sure that we turn around this environment.”

Commuters have been subject to railway “barbarism” for too long, said Transport Minister Radebe. Radebe said that the government plans to invest more than 80 million Rand ($10.5 million USD) in the rail police system with the intention of curbing the daily murders, robberies, and kindnappings committed on the Metrorail.

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