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November 15, 2006

U.S. Airways makes bid on Delta

U.S. Airways makes bid on Delta – Wikinews, the free news source

U.S. Airways makes bid on Delta

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Delta Boeing 767

In an unexpected move, US Airways has placed a $8 billion bid for Delta in the morning of November 15, 2006, rallying the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed at 12,251.71, a record high.

The offer to buy Delta once the Atlanta-based airline emerges from bankruptcy protection by the middle of 2007 would give Delta’s unsecured creditors $4 billion in cash and 78.5 million shares of US Airways stock. Delta has yet to file its own plan of reorganization.

If completed, the deal would combine two of the oldest and most storied airlines in the United States. Delta started as a crop duster in the 1920s and grew to make its base at Atlanta-Hartsfield the nation’s largest airport. US Air started as a mail carrier in the 1930s and has gone through several mergers and two bankruptcies.

“Consumers will have more choice and more reach, and a carrier that has a cost structure of a low-fare carrier,” US Air CEO Doug Parker said in a phone interview.

The last airline deal of this magnitude, United Airline’s proposed purchase of US Airways, was blocked by the Justice Department on antitrust grounds in 2001, just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Management of Delta have not endorsed the deal, stating they wish to prevail as independent. On Wall Street, however, US Air (up $6.64 to $57.57) investors welcomed the proposal, sending the carrier’s stock soaring more than 12 percent in midday New York Stock Exchange trading. Investors also were pleased with Delta, with shares soaring 19 percent but then going back to modest gains. If the deal is completed the airline would operate under the name of Delta but nothing is set in stone.

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Tsunami wave alert for British Columbia dropped

Tsunami wave alert for British Columbia dropped

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A tsunami wave alert for the outer coast of British Columbia has been dropped. It was lifted about three hours after the alert was issued.

The alert was issued at 4:10 a.m. PST for B.C. north and central coasts to the northern tip of Vancouver Island and also the west coast of Vancouver Island south to Sombrio Point. It was expected to hit at 9:00 a.m. PST, 12:00 p.m. ET.

“That’s our latest information – that if a wave was generated it would be hardly noticeable,” said Cam Filmer, executive director of Provincial Emergency Planning office.

No impacts are expected from any tsunami wave that might reach B.C.’s outer coast, Emergency officials in British Columbia say.

Recent reports from Japan and Alaska indicate that any wave that might reach coastal B.C. will be very small.

Currently, there are blackouts, heavy rain and high winds throughout the area. 8,000 customers in Sechelt, Whistler, Bowen Island and Quadra Island, B.C. have no power. Winds are up to 100 kilometres an hour in some areas and rainfall amounts of 50 to 110 millimetres, Environment Canada reports.

Float plane services are cancelled between Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo.

Ferries are also cancelled on routes linking the mainland to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

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The Yes Men troll Wharton Business School with slavery proposal

The Yes Men troll Wharton Business School with slavery proposal

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A member of The Yes Men speeching in Sydney. The founding Yes Men are Jacques Servin aka Andy Bichlbaum and Igor Vamos aka Mike Bonanno.

The anti-globalization culture jamming group The Yes Men recently delivered a presentation at a Wharton Business School conference on trade and investment in Africa.

A performance artist, using the name Hanniford Schmidt, pretending to be a WTO representative, announced a new WTO initiative for “full private stewardry of labor” in some parts of Africa. His talk attempted to make clear that this meant slavery.

“This is what free trade’s all about,” said Schmidt. “It’s about the freedom to buy and sell anything—even people.”

Schmidt reported that “One conference attendee asked what incentive employers had to remain as stewards once their employees are too old to work or reproduce” but that “there were no other questions from the audience that took issue with Schmidt’s proposal.”

Wharton Business School placed a notice on the conference site stating that their invitation of Schmidt had been based upon his misrepresentation of himself as a representative of the WTO, and that they do not endorse his views.

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R&B singer Gerald Levert dies

R&B singer Gerald Levert dies – Wikinews, the free news source

R&B singer Gerald Levert dies

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gerald Levert, R&B singer, songwriter and producer died of a heart attack around 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

Gerald Levert was the son of Eddie Levert (of the soul group The O’Jays). Levert was known for a number of top ten hits in the 1980s and 90s, particularly “Pop, Pop Goes My Mind”, “Casanova”, and ABC-123″. Levert had finished an album, which is expected to go into release in early 2007.

The memorial service for his death will be held Friday, November 17, and scheduled to honor Levert are Stevie Wonder, Johnny Gill and Angie Stone.



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Murdoch asks Australians to stick with the US

Filed under: Archived,Australia,Media,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Murdoch asks Australians to stick with the US

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

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Rupert Murdoch, the News Corporation Chairman, told Australians not to allow sentiments over the Iraq War to damage relations with the United States.

Talking at a benefit dinner for the American-Australian Association, in Sydney, Mr. Murdoch cited surveys which have shown that anti-US sentiments to be more prevalent than ever. He warned Australians not to let a rift develop between the two countries.

Mr. Murdoch believes that doubts about the Iraq war should not cloud the relationship stating, “Wars end, administrations come and go”.

“The Australian people must not allow the perfectly legitimate doubts about one policy or one American administration to cloud their long-term judgement.”

Mr. Murdoch also touched on the environment during his speech saying both countries must look into new sources of energy to combat climate change.

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Murat Kurnaz describes systematic torture in Guantanamo

Murat Kurnaz describes systematic torture in Guantanamo

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Murat Kurnaz, a Turk born and raised in Germany, who was held in extrajudicial detention by the United States for five years, described systematic torture while held in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp in Cuba.

Kurnaz alleges he was subjected to electric shocks, waterboarding, the technique of leading a victim to feel he was on the verge of drowning, being shackled to the ceiling for days on end, being denied food, one time for a period of twenty days.

Kurnaz’s case first received widespread scrutiny in March of 2005, when his fully classified dossier was accidentally briefly declassified.

One allegation against Kurnaz was that he had been a friend of a man who killed himself during a suicide bombing mission. However the dossier revealed that his friend, the alleged suicide bomber, was alive and well and living in Germany. The Bremen Prosecutor’s office had certified that his friend, who American intelligence analysts had initially alleged was a suicide bomber, was found to be innocent.

Another allegation was that he had traveled with a group of missionaries from the Pakistani missionary group Tablighi Jamaat. The files submitted on Kurnaz’s behalf to his Administrative Rewiew Board by lawyers filing his writ of habeas corpus contained three letter from American professors of religious studies, who had studied the Tablighi Jamaat. The letters from these experts were consistent in their description of the Tablighi Jamaat as a large apolitical organization.

Unlike Christian missionary groups the Tablighi Jamaat only worked among fellow muslims. Missions consisted of traveling, in small groups, between mosques in foreign lands. The missionaries would discuss the practice of Islam in their various nations, and the practice of Islam in their host mosques.

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Japan and Russia on tsunami alert

Japan and Russia on tsunami alert – Wikinews, the free news source

Japan and Russia on tsunami alert

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A tsunami alert has been issued by the Japanese Meteorological Agency after a 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Kuril islands. The alert warns that a 2 metre high tsunami could hit the Pacific coast of Hokkaido & Honshu 1210 GMT. Coastal residents have been asked to move to higher ground.

The United States Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has warned that the tsunami will hit northern Japan and Russia.

An official from the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center as said that the tsunami was not expected to hit Hawaii and the West Coast of North and South America. She added that there was a slight chance of it hitting the western Aleutian Islands.

The United States Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre warning states indicates the estimated inital tsunami arrival times as follows.

NOTE: ACTUAL ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST. THE TIME BETWEEN SUCCESSIVE TSUNAMI WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR. IN CASE OF CONFLICTING INFORMATION… THE MORE CONSERVATIVE INFORMATION SHOULD BE USED FOR SAFETY.

Russia
LOCATION COORDINATES ARRIVAL TIME
URUP IS 46.1N 150.5E 1139Z 15 NOV
PETROPAVLOVSK K 53.2N 159.6E 1224Z 15 NOV
SEVERO KURILSK 50.8N 156.1E 1229Z 15 NOV
UST KAMCHATSK 56.1N 162.6E 1249Z 15 NOV
MEDNNY IS 54.7N 167.4E 1251Z 15 NOV
Japan
KUSHIRO 42.5N 144.5E 1219Z 15 NOV
HACHINOHE 40.5N 142.0E 1245Z 15 NOV
KATSUURA 35.1N 140.3E 1321Z 15 NOV
SHIMIZU 32.5N 133.0E 1434Z 15 NOV
OKINAWA 26.2N 127.8E 1535Z 15 NOV

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Israeli Woman killed by Qassam rocket

Filed under: Archived,Israel,Middle East,Palestine,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Israeli Woman killed by Qassam rocket – Wikinews, the free news source

Israeli Woman killed by Qassam rocket

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An Israeli woman was killed early morning today by a Qassam rocket launched by Palestinian fighters from Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. Rockets were launched at the southern Israeli city of Sderoth and several other locations. Two rockets landed in the city, killing a 57-year-old woman and injuring a 24-year-old bodyguard of the Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz, who lives in the city. Several other people were treated for shock.

The bodyguard lost both legs due to shrapnel wounds and is still in surgery, several hours after the attack.

The Al-Quds Brigades, military wing of Islamic Jihad, took responsibility for the attack, saying they have launched “two sophisticated Quds rockets at a mid-range” as a retaliation for the IDF artillery shelling of Beit Hanoun earlier this month, in which 19 people were killed. Izz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas’ military wing, also took responsibility for the attack.

IDF officials said today that the attack was carried out from the area around Beit Hanoun cemetery, where large-scale Qassam launching operation is underway.

Another attack occurred hours later, when another rocket landed near several young men, injuring a 17-year-old youth severely and several others lightly.

With today’s attacks, 10 Israelis have been killed by Qassam rockets since 2002 and over 270 injured. Attacks by Israel aimed at Hamas fighters have killed over 400 Palestinians including many civilians, since June this year.

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Charles Upham\’s medals to stay in New Zealand

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

Charles Upham’s medals to stay in New Zealand

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

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Photograph of Charles Upham.

The Victoria Cross and bar awarded to soldier, Charles Upham, have been sold to Britain’s Imperial War Museum in London. The Victoria Cross and bar, also known as a double Victoria Cross, were only awarded to one combat solider, Mr Upham. The medals will, however, remain in New Zealand as they are on loan to New Zealand for 999 years, this is welcoming news to the New Zealand government.

The medals were not exactly donated to New Zealand as it is currently illegal to export the medals, but it still generous to donate them so New Zealand can still see the medals at the Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum. His family had requested that they be on view.

Amanda Upham and Virginia MacKenzie are Mr Uphams daughters and are the ones who sold the medals to the war museum in Britain. The medals were sold for an unknown amount of money, however it was known that they had wanted NZ$3.3 million.

The government had offered to buy the medals for $1 million, this was rejected by the two daughters which caused a lot of controversy. A collector had then offered $9 million.

Speaking in Hong Kong, Phil Goff, minister of defence, said: “I’m hugely pleased the Upham medals will now be held at the Waiouru Army Museum in perpetuity as part of New Zealand’s military heritage.” Mr Goff also thanked a trust that worked together with the museum to make sure that New Zealand was still able to view the medals.

Mr Upham had won his Victoria Crosses in World War Two. His first Victoria Cross was won in the Battle of Crete in 1941. And he won his bar in the Western Desert about a year after his first Victoria Cross.

A Victoria Cross is the highest medal available to be awarded for bravery in the Commonwealth Realm.

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Canadian law proposes to ban spitting, swearing and urinating in public

Canadian law proposes to ban spitting, swearing and urinating in public

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

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A new law that proposes no spitting, swearing, or urinating in public passed its second reading in Calgary.

Calgary City Council is expected to pass it into law later this year.

Fines would range from $50 for carrying a visible knife or standing on public benches and $300 for urinating or defecating in public. People who spit would face a $100 fine and those who fight in city streets would pay a $250 ticket.

“You have to set the groundwork of expectations — mutual expectations — in order to be able to work well together, live well together,” said Ald. Madeline King, a councilor who represents part of Calgary’s inner city. “This is the right thing to do — this is a social contract between Calgarians that calls for a minimum amount of respect,” he said.

“Unless you have rules, things don’t work so well in terms of living together harmoniously,” said Ald. Madeleine King. “It’s not targeting the homeless, it’s targeting anyone who behaves in this way.”

It will come back to council for final approval next week.

City lawyers have concerns about enforcing some parts of the legislation.

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