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June 29, 2007

Lady Bird Johnson released from Austin hospital

Lady Bird Johnson released from Austin hospital

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Friday, June 29, 2007

White House portrait

Lady Bird Johnson and an unidentified woman look on as Muriel Humphrey, wife of Vice President Hubert Humphrey shovels dirt around a dogwood tree planted along I-95 in Virginia, during her “Landscape-Landmark Tour” on May 11, 1965.

Former First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson was released Thursday after a week at Seton Hospital after being admitted for tests because she was not feeling well. She is the widow of Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States from 1963 to 1969. She is best known for her conservation and beautification efforts involving wildflowers and roadsides.

As President Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, criss-crossed States by road during the 1964 presidential campaign, she informed her husband of her feelings about the roadside junkyards they saw along the way. Inspired by her comments and enthusiasm from audiences, he observed “If it’s beautifying they want, it’s beautifying they’ll get.” Recognizing that “ours is an automobile society,” the President did not want to curtail roads. He wanted to make roads the “highways to the enjoyment of nature and beauty.” Lady Bird thought that her love of seeing Texas highways in spring had influenced her husband. She enjoyed the results of Texan wildflower conservation programs which began in the 1930s.

One of the most prominent results of the President’s beauty initiative was the Highway Beautification Act of 1965. It created restrictions on billboards and junkyards. As expected, it had been controversial. When the House considered its version of the bill on October 7, the debate lasted into the early morning hours of October 8. A pointed but tongue-in-cheek amendment by Representative Robert Dole (R-Kan.) to strike out the term “Secretary of Commerce” wherever it appeared in the bill and insert the words “Lady Bird” lost by a voice vote. Saying, “Beauty belongs to all the people,” the President signed the bill and gave the first pen to Lady Bird, along with a kiss on the cheek.

In 1982, she founded the National Wildflower Research Center to continue the mission of changing public attitudes toward native plants. In 1997 it was renamed the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Former Japan Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa dies at 87

Filed under: Archived,Asia,Japan,Obituaries — admin @ 5:00 am

Former Japan Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa dies at 87

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Friday, June 29, 2007

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Kiichi Miyazawa, left, meets in 1999 with U.S. Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin. At the time, Miyazawa was serving as minister of finance.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa died at his home in Tokyo yesterday at the age of 87.

He served as the prime minister of Japan from 1991 to 1993.

Miyazawa was born on October 8, 1919, in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture. He graduated from Tokyo Imperial University with a degree in law. He joined the Ministry of Finance in 1942, and in 1953, he was elected to the Diet of Japan.

In the 1970s and ’80s, he held a number of positions in government, including Minister of International Trade and Industry in 1970-71, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1974 to 1976, Director General of the Economic Planning Agency in 1977-78, and Chief Cabinet Secretary from 1984 to 1986.

He was Minister of Finance under Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita in 1987, but resigned in 1988 amid the “Recruit” insider-trading scandal.

Elected prime minister in 1991 as a member of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, he tried unsuccessfully to save the economy following the bursting of an asset-speculation “bubble” in the late 1980s, and also tried to push through political reform bills.

“A nation can be governed either by the rule of right or the rule of might. I will not stand by the rule of might. The position of prime minister should not be acquired by really trying to,” he was once quoted as saying.

It was during a state dinner on January 8, 1992 that U.S. President George H. W. Bush vomited in Miyazawa’s lap and then fainted. A new Japanese verb arose after incident: “bushu-suru” or “bushuru”, meaning “to commit an instance of embarrassing public vomiting” or literally “to do a Bush.”

Miyazawa stepped down as prime minister in June 1993 after a no-confidence motion against his Cabinet was submitted by opposition parties and approved by lower house of the Diet with the support of rival Liberal Democratic Party factions.

He subsequently served as finance minister in the Cabinets of Keizo Obuchi and Yoshiro Mori, who drafted him to rescue Japan from another financial crisis.

He retired as a legislator in October 2003 when he abandoned seeking re-election at the strong urging of then-prime minister Junichiro Koizumi.

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EU bans all Indonesian airlines as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola

EU bans all Indonesian airlines as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The European Union banned all of Indonesia’s air carriers yesterday, none of which presently operate services to Europe, as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola. They are the latest additions to the already extensive List of air carriers banned in the EU. The ban is scheduled to come into effect on July 6. Just hours after the ban a Boeing 737 operated by one of the blacklisted airlines, TAAG Angola Airlines, crashed into a house during landing, causing at least six fatalities in Northern Angola.

Indonesia currently has 51 airlines, having grounded several and revoked the licences of others on June 25. The EU said that substandard maintenance and operation and a slow reaction by Indonesia to solve the problem were the main causes of the ban. EU holidaymakers who have booked flights with banned airlines via travel agents will be refunded for the services.

EU transport commissioner Jacques Barrot said of the ban “Once more, the EU blacklist will prove to be an essential tool not only to prevent unsafe airlines from flying to Europe and to inform passengers travelling worldwide, but also to make sure that airlines and civil aviation authorities take appropriate actions to improve safety.”

Operations and safety editor at Flight International David Learmount commented that Indonesia, whose airline industry was deregulated the early 1990s, is one of a handful of cases where deregulation has lowered safety standards instead of improving them, saying of the move by the EU “Standards in aviation safety have been going up dramatically on a worldwide basis, but there are still places where they are [of the standards of] the 70s and 80s. In Indonesia the safety watchdog was told earlier this year to pull its socks up, but the EU is clearly convinced that it has not done so.”

One unnamed EU official was reported by The Guardian to have described Indonesia’s civil aviation authority as “not very reliable”, referring to a lack of reaction to warnings of an imminent ban and requests that Indonesia reassured officials that the problem was being dealt with.

Indonesia has responded to the ban by saying that, according to information unseen by the EU, Indonesian safety standards are rising. Director-general of civil aviation at the Indonesian transport ministry Budhi Mulyawan Suyitno told Reuters new agency that, “Our data can show them that we have improved on every line. The US had already downgraded Indonesia’s safety rating earlier this year.

Also affected by the bans are Ukraine’s Volare Aviation, while Russia has imposed bans on four of its airlines after consulting the EU and restricted six others, Bulgaria has revoked the licences of six cargo airlines and Moldova has banned eight airlines.

Meanwhile, Pakistan International Airlines, subject of a controversial EU ban earlier this year, had restrictions on some of its aircraft lifted. The airline’s fleet of Boeing 777s and some of their Boeing 747s and Airbus 310s will now be allowed back into European airspace.

The announcements come after three accidents involving Indonesian airliners – the New Year’s Day crash of Adam Air Flight 574, which killed 102 people, the subsequent accident involving Adam Air Flight 172, which cracked in half on a hard landing but held together, preventing serious injury, and the March crash of state-run Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, which claimed 23 lives. All the accidents involved ageing Boeing 737 aircraft.

Related news

  • “Indonesia shuts down 4 airlines and grounds 5 others over safety concerns” — Wikinews, June 28, 2007

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Cricket: 2007 Future Cup-2nd ODI

Filed under: Archived,Cricket,India,Ireland,South Africa,Sports — admin @ 5:00 am

Cricket: 2007 Future Cup-2nd ODI – Wikinews, the free news source

Cricket: 2007 Future Cup-2nd ODI

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Friday, June 29, 2007

In the 2007 Future Cup, India beat South Africa by six wickets in the second One-Day International (ODI) held at the Civil Service Cricket Club Ground, Stormont, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The best of three series now stands level at 1-1 after South Africa’s victory in the first ODI.

Sachin Tendulkar, in posting a score of 93, became the first batsman to score 15,000 runs in one day cricket.

Toss: India won, and chose to field first.

Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa innings
Player Status Runs Balls 4s 6s Strike rate
MN van Wyk c Dhoni b Yuvraj Singh 82 126 7 1 65.07
AB de Villiers run out(Singh/Dravid) 0 6 0 0 0.00
JH Kallis b Singh 2 6 0 0 33.33
HH Gibbs c Karthik b Khan 17 28 3 0 60.71
JP Duminy c Dravid b Yuvraj Singh 40 59 3 0 67.79
MV Boucher not out 55 55 4 1 100.00
AJ Hall b Yuvraj Singh 17 19 2 0 89.47
Andre Nel not out 1 3 0 0 33.33
Extras (lb 5; nb 2; w 5) 12
Total (6 Wickets; 50 overs) 226 19 2

Did not bat: T Tshabalala, CK Langeveldt, M Ntini

Fall of wickets: 1-2 (de Villiers, 3.1 ov), 2-7 (Kallis, 5.2 ov), 3-46 (Gibbs, 13.3 ov), 4-131 (Duminy, 32.3 ov), 5-168 (van Wyk, 40.6 ov), 6-220 (Hall, 48.4 ov)

Flag of India.svg India bowling
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Econ
Zaheer Khan 9 2 29 1 3.22
RP Singh 6 1 21 1 3.50
I Sharma 7 0 38 0 5.42
Piyush Chawla 8 0 41 0 5.12
RR Powar 10 0 46 0 4.60
SR Tendulkar 1 0 10 0 10.00
Yuvraj Singh 9 0 36 3 4.00
Flag of India.svg India innings (Target: 227 runs from 50 overs)
Player Status Runs Balls 4s 6s Strike rate
Sourav Ganguly c Gibbs b Langeveldt 42 75 3 1 56.00
Sachin Tendulkar b Tshabalala 93 106 13 2 87.73
Rahul Dravid c & b Langeveldt 2 10 0 0 20.00
Yuvraj Singh not out 49 63 4 1 77.77
Mahendra Singh Dhoni b Ntini 0 4 0 0 0.00
Dinesh Karthik not out 32 37 1 0 86.48
Extras (lb 2; w 7) 9
Total (4 Wickets; 49.1 overs) 227 21 4

Did not bat: Piyush Chawla, RR Powar, Z Khan, RP Singh, I Sharma

Fall of wickets: 1-134 (Ganguly, 28.1 ov), 2-140 (Dravid, 30.6 ov), 3-140 (Tendulkar, 31.5 ov), 4-142 (Dhoni, 32.4 ov)

Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa bowling
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Econ
Makhaya Ntini 10 1 37 1 3.70
Charl Langeveldt 10 1 43 2 4.30
Andre Nel 10 0 41 0 4.10
Andrew Hall 10 0 54 0 5.40
Thandi Tshabalala 8 2 42 1 5.25
Jacques Kallis 1.1 0 8 0 6.85

India: S C Ganguly, S R Tendulkar, R Dravid(capt), Yuvraj Singh, K D Karthik. M S Dhoni (wkt), Piyush Chawla, R R Powar, Z Khan, R P Singh, I Sharma

South Africa: AB de Villiers, M N van Wyk, J H Kallis (capt), H H Gibbs, J P Duminy, M V Boucher(wkt), A J Hall, T Tshabalala, C K Langeveldt, A Nel, M Ntini

ODI debut: I Sharma (India)
Player of the match: S R Tendulkar (India)

Umpires: MR Benson (England) and BF Bowden (New Zealand)
TV umpire: Aleem Dar (Pakistan)
Match referee: AG Hurst (Australia)
Reserve umpire: C McElwee

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Car bomb defused in central London

Car bomb defused in central London – Wikinews, the free news source

Car bomb defused in central London

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The Mercedes-Benz on Haymarket covered by a tent
Image: Snapper Jack / Eye Spy Mag.

A car containing an large explosive device has been defused in the Haymarket, London. A second device was later found in a car park in Park Lane.

A car, a light metallic green Mercedes-Benz E Class saloon (produced 1984-1995), parked near the nightclub ‘TigerTiger’, contained petrol, gas cylinders and nails. Police described it as a “potentially viable explosive device”.

Police carried out a controlled explosion at 2:00 a.m. BST and the car has been taken to a forensic explosives laboratory for further investigation.

Eyewitnesses saw the car driving “erratically” and colliding with bins before being abandoned. An ambulance crew in the area alerted police after seeing smoke inside the car.

Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner Peter Clarke said there could have been “significant injury or loss of life”.

A meeting of COBRA, chaired by new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was held about the incident.

Police say it is too early to tell who is behind the threat. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the country faces a “serious and continued security threat” and urged people to “be vigilant at all times”.

Disruption has been caused to transport in the area with roads closed and bus routes diverted. Piccadilly Circus tube station has reopened after an earlier closure

Police are reviewing major events to be held in London over the weekend.

CBS News has reported that a message appeared on the widely used jihadist Internet forum Al-Hesbah at 8:09 a.m. June 28, saying: “Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.” The message went on to mention the recently announced knighthood of Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie.

Following an incident at Glasgow airport, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced the elevation of the UK’s national threat level from “Severe” to “Critical”, indicating that an attack could be expected “imminently”.

Two people have been arrested in Cheshire in connection with the Glasgow International Airport attack and attempted London car bombings.

Park Lane

Park Lane was closed to the public due to a suspicious car parked in the underground car park beneath Hyde Park. Police, who believed the two incidents to be linked, cordoned off Park Lane and Hyde Park to allow the bomb disposal unit access to the vehicle. The car was illegally parked on Cockspur Street and was towed to the pound on Park Lane, it was then discovered that the car contained an explosive device.

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International Red Cross condemns Myanmar regime

International Red Cross condemns Myanmar regime

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Friday, June 29, 2007

In a departure from its usual neutrality, the International Committee of the Red Cross today issued a statement condemning Myanmar’s military State Peace and Development Council for human rights abuses.

The Geneva, Switzerland-based International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC, said the Myanmar junta is systematically causing thousands of people to suffer, especially along the border with Thailand, where government soldiers raid villages, destroy food supplies, force people from their homes and commit acts of violence, including murder and child abuse. Detainees, the ICRC said, were being forced to work on government projects or act as porters for the military.

File:Burma 3 150.jpg

Aung San Suu Kyi
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The statement comes amidst other developments in Myanmar, where 51 detainees who were arrested in a crackdown on democracy demonstrations last month were released on Wednesday.

In Beijing yesterday, U.S. State Department officials held talks with representatives of Myanmar’s military regime, with the U.S. issuing a “very pointed and very direct” demand that the junta release detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger said in a press release: “Despite repeated entreaties by the ICRC, the [Myanmar] authorities have consistently refused to enter into a serious discussion of these abuses with a view to putting a stop to them.”

ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger.

“The continuing deadlock with the authorities has led the ICRC to take the exceptional step of making its concerns public,” Kellenberger continued. “The organization uses confidential and bilateral dialog as its preferred means of achieving results. However, this presupposes that parties to a conflict are willing to enter into a serious discussion and take into account the ICRC’s recommendations. This has not been the case with the authorities of Myanmar and that is why the ICRC has decided to speak out publicly.”

In March this year, the ICRC closed its offices in Yangon, Myanmar’s former capital, after the organization’s staff were prevented from visiting prisons or conducting independent field operations in the border areas.

The condemnation of Myanmar by the ICRC is the strongest since it denounced the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

Rare talks with U.S.

Separately in Beijing, U.S. and Myanmar officials met yesterday in the highest-level talks between the two countries since 2003.

The U.S. delegation was led by Assistant Secretary of State Eric John, who met with Myanmar Information Minister Kyaw San, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nyan Win and Culture Minister Khin Aung Myint.

One U.S. official, speaking to Agence France-Presse (AFP) on condition of anonymity, said the discussions were “very pointed and very direct.”

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the U.S. delegation demanded the release of Suu Kyi and other political detainees, but received no positive response from the Myanmar officials. “I don’t think we saw anything coming out of them that will indicate, unfortunately, that they have changed their basic opinions,” Casey was quoted as saying by AFP. “We certainly did not hear that they were planning on releasing Aung San Suu Kyi or other political prisoners,” he continued.

Long-standing U.S. diplomatic policy is to not meet with Myanmar leaders in their own country unless the U.S. officials are first allowed to visit Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won elections in 1990. The military, which has ruled Myanmar since 1962, never honored the results and has kept Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, under house arrest for most of the time since then.

Myanmar is also known as Burma, its former name under the British Empire. The military officially renamed the country Myanmar in 1989, but many countries and organizations, mostly those that refuse to recognize the military government, still refer to it as Burma.

51 detainees released, AIDS activist on hunger strike

In Yangon, also known as Rangoon, 51 NLD supporters who were detained last month in a crackdown on prayer vigils have been released, according to the NLD.

Phyu Phyu Thin

However Phyu Phyu Thin, an AIDS campaigner who was arrested on May 21 for organizing a prayer campaign for the release of Suu Kyi was not among those freed. While it isn’t known where Phyu Phyu Thin is being held, the NLD says she has started a hunger strike.

“The NLD calls for the immediate release of Phyu Phyu Thin, who should receive health care from her family,” NLD spokesman Myint Thein was quoted as saying by The Irrawaddy. “We [the NLD], together with her family, are seriously concerned about her health.”

Phyu Phyu Thin began her hunger strike on June 19 and has been taking only liquids, Myint Thein told The Irrawaddy.

An outspoken critic, who has said the junta is understating the number of HIV and AIDS cases in Myanmar, Phyu Phyu Thin runs a small clinic that provides care and counseling to HIV/AIDS patients.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement on Wednesday, calling for Phyu Phyu Thin’s release. “The United States calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Phyu Phyu Thin [and] others recently detained while praying at pagodas,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement.

Earlier, another NLD activist, Su Su Nway, was released for health reasons.

The release of the 51 activists coincided with a visit by United Nations envoy Radhika Coomaraswamy, special representative for children and armed conflict. She met acting prime minister Lieutenant-General Thein Sein on Wednesday morning in the new administrative capital, Naypyidaw. However, it wasn’t known if the U.N. envoy had raised the issue of the detained activists.

Related news

  • “Wikinews Shorts: June 23, 2007#Myanmar democracy party formally asks to see Suu Kyi” — Wikinews, June 23, 2007
  • “Supporters of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi mark detained leader’s 62nd birthday” — Wikinews, June 19, 2007
  • Eleven HIV/AIDS patient-protestors detained in Myanmar” — Wikinews, June 8, 2007

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West Indies cricket team in England 2007 – 2nd Twenty20

West Indies cricket team in England 2007 – 2nd Twenty20

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Friday, June 29, 2007

England have beaten West Indies by five wickets in the second Twenty20 international of the West Indies tour of England at The Oval, London, England.

England’s victory tied the two match series 1-1 after West Indies won the first Twenty20 yesterday.

Chris Gayle got the West Indies off to a good start with 61 runs off 37 balls, but the England bowlers and fielders restricted their score to 169-7 after 20 overs despite some big hits from Marlon Samuels.

In reply, England faltered, losing three wickets in 14 balls followed by the dismissal of Kevin Pietersen for 19. However Owais Shah scored 55 to help England past the target.

The tour now moves on to a series of three One-Day International matches starting on 1st July. Earlier in the tour, England won a four match Test series 3-0.

Toss: West Indies won, and chose to bat first.

ImageNA.svg West Indies innings
Player Status Runs Balls 4s 6s Strike rate
CH Gayle c Broad b Collingwood 61 37 8 1 164.86
LMP Simmons c Broad b Anderson 9 12 2 0 75.00
ACL Richards lbw b Broad 10 15 1 0 66.66
MN Samuels c Mascarenhas b Collingwood 42 20 3 3 210.00
D Ramdin c Collingwood b Sidebottom 10 8 1 0 125.00
RS Morton c & b Sidebottom 18 16 0 1 112.50
DR Smith run out (Pietersen/Prior) 5 4 0 0 125.00
DJ Bravo not out 0 1 0 0 0.00
DJG Sammy not out 7 7 0 0 100.00
Extras (b 1; lb 2; w 4) 7
Total (7 Wickets; 20 overs) 169 15 5

Did not bat: R Rampaul, DBL Powell

Fall of wickets: 1-49 (Simmons, 5.3 ov), 2-64 (Richards, 8.5 ov), 3-108 (Gayle, 12.4 ov), 4-130 (Samuels, 14.2 ov), 5-146 (Ramdin, 16.4 ov), 6-158 (Morton, 18.2 ov), 7-161 (Smith, 18.4 ov)

Flag of England.svg England bowling
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Econ
RJ Sidebottom 4 0 25 2 6.25
JM Anderson 4 0 27 1 6.75
SCJ Broad 4 0 31 1 7.75
MH Yardy 3 0 30 0 10.00
AD Mascarenhas 3 0 32 0 10.66
PD Collingwood 2 0 21 2 10.50
Flag of England.svg England innings (Target: 170 runs from 20 overs)
Player Status Runs Balls 4s 6s Strike rate
AN Cook b Powell 9 9 2 0 100.00
MJ Prior b Rampaul 22 14 4 0 157.14
IJL Trott c Ramdin b Rampaul 2 5 0 0 40.00
KP Pietersen c & b Sammy 19 15 3 0 126.66
PD Collingwood st Ramdin b Samuels 27 24 1 1 112.50
OA Shah not out 55 35 7 0 157.14
AD Mascarenhas not out 18 16 1 0 112.50
Extras (lb 5; w 15; nb 1) 21
Total (5 Wickets; 19.3 overs) 173 18 1

Did not bat: MH Yardy, SCJ Broad, RJ Sidebottom, JM Anderson

Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Cook, 2.6 ov), 2-38 (Prior, 3.6 ov), 3-43 (Trott, 5.1 ov), 4-68 (Pietersen, 8.3 ov), 5-104 (Collingwood, 13.3 ov)

ImageNA.svg West Indies bowling
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Econ
DR Smith 4 0 38 0 9.50
R Rampaul 4 0 39 2 9.75
DBL Powell 4 0 24 1 6.00
DJG Sammy 4 0 27 1 6.75
MN Samuels 3 0 31 1 10.33
C H Gayle 0.3 0 9 0 18.00

England: A N Cook, M J Prior (wkt), I J L Trott , K P Pietersen, P D Collingwood (capt), O A Shah, A D Mascarenhas , M H Yardy, S C J Broad, R J Sidebottom, J M Anderson

West Indies: C H Gayle (capt), L M P Simmons, A C L Richards , M N Samuels, D J Bravo, D Ramdin (wkt), D R Smith, R S Morton, D J G Sammy, Ravi Rampaul, D B L Powell

Twenty20 Debutants: A C L Richards and L M P Simmons (West Indies)
Player of the match: O A Shah (England)

Umpires: I J Gould and N J Llong
TV umpire: P J Hartley
Match referee: M J Procter (South Africa)
Reserve umpire: NL Bainton



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Shares in Blackstone Group fall below IPO price

Filed under: Archived,Economy and business,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Shares in Blackstone Group fall below IPO price

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Stock in the Blackstone Group, a major private equity founded by Peter G. Peterson and Stephen Schwarzman, has fallen below its initial public offering price of US$31.00.

Blackstone L.P. (NYSE symbol: BX) initially soared 13 percent after being offered on the New York Stock Exchange last week. However, lately the stock has dropped to below $30. The stock was issued to brokerages for $31 a share.

Some fear that the so-called “Private Equity Boom” may be at its peak. Others attribute the falling price to recent discussions in Washington of changing laws that critics call “loopholes,” which allow such firms to pay capital gains tax instead of income tax.

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NFL Europa ceases after 15 seasons

Filed under: Archived,Europe,Football (American),Sports,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

NFL Europa ceases after 15 seasons – Wikinews, the free news source

NFL Europa ceases after 15 seasons

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Friday, June 29, 2007

NFL Europa logo

The NFL has announced that its “farmer-league” NFL Europa has been discontinued after 15 seasons. Instead, the NFL will change “the focus of its international business strategy to presenting the NFL to the widest possible global audience, including broader media visibility and the staging of international regular-season games.” “The time is right to re-focus the NFL’s strategy on initiatives with global impact, including worldwide media coverage of our sport and the staging of live regular-season NFL games,'” said Mark Waller, senior vice president of NFL International, to NFL.com

The NFL is focusing on the international market now. In October, the owners passed a resolution to set up to two regular-season games in international stadiums per year. The first of these games will be played at Wembley Stadium in London on October 28 when the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants meet.

In 2006, NFL Europa changed its name from NFL Europe to NFL Europa to focus more on the German and Dutch markets. When NFL Europa shut down, it had six teams based in Holland and Germany. The Hamburg Sea Devils won the last World Bowl (number 15) last Saturday. Two of the players that were developed in NFL Europa were Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner and Indianapolis Colts K Adam Vinatieri.

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Chris Benoit mystery editor confesses: claims \”terrible coincidence\”

Chris Benoit mystery editor confesses: claims “terrible coincidence”

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Friday, June 29, 2007

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Chris Benoit, performing for the Coalition troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq.

The anonymous individual responsible for suggesting, 14 hours before police discovered the body, that WWE wrestler Chris Benoit’s wife was dead is saying his/her comment was a “terrible coincidence.”

Cquote1.svg I feel incredibly bad for all the attention this got because of the fact that what I said turned out to be the truth. Like I said it was just a major coincidence, and I will never vandalize anything on wikipedia or post wrongful information. I’ve learned from this experience. I just can’t believe what I wrote was actually the case, I’ve remained stunned and saddened over it….
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Continued »

In a post made at 12:26 AM EDT Friday morning to the talk page of a Wikinews article headlined as the “Death of Nancy Benoit rumour posted on Wikipedia hours prior to body being found”, the user admitted to writing that Nancy Benoit was dead at the Wikipedia article page for Benoit came from information that was garnered from “rumors and speculation online.”

The IP Address of the individual making the apology was identical to that of the one who posted the Nancy Benoit rumor, a strong confirmation of the admission’s authenticity. The lengthy apology was not signed, with the individual claiming, “I am just an everyday individual who posted a wrongful remark at the time that received so much attention because it turned out to actually happen.”

Wikinews originally broke the story about the suspicious edit after receiving a tip from Wikipedia administrators. The fact the edit originated from a computer in Stamford, Connecticut (the site of WWE headquarters) appears to be another coincidence.

The anonymous editor left a lengthy apology to the Wikimedia community, explaining, “I hope this puts an end to this speculation that someone knew about the tragedy before it was discovered.”

Wikinews is continuing to follow the story, but the anonymous user has declined an interview.

Below is the full, unedited apology:

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Hey everyone. I am here to talk about the wikipedia comment that was left by myself. I just want to say that it was an incredible coincidence. Last weekend, I had heard about Chris Benoit no showing Vengeance because of a family emergency, and I had heard rumors about why that was. I was reading rumors and speculation about this matter online, and one of them included that his wife may have passed away, and I did the wrong thing by posting it on wikipedia to spite there being no evidence. I posted my speculation on the situation at the time and I am deeply sorry about this, and I was just as shocked as everyone when I heard that this actually would happen in real life. It is one of those things that just turned into a huge coincidence. That night I found out that what I posted, ended up actually happening, a 1 in 10,000 chance of happening, or so I thought. I was beyond wrong for posting wrongful information, and I am sorry to everyone for this. I just want everyone to know it was stupid of me, and I will never do anything like this again. I just posted something that was at that time a piece of wrong unsourced information that is typical on wikipedia, as it is done all the time.

Nonetheless, I feel incredibly bad for all the attention this got because of the fact that what I said turned out to be the truth. Like I said it was just a major coincidence, and I will never vandalize anything on wikipedia or post wrongful information. I’ve learned from this experience. I just can’t believe what I wrote was actually the case, I’ve remained stunned and saddened over it.

I wish not to reveal my identity so I can keep me and my family out of this since they have nothing to do with anything. I am not connected to WWE or Benoit at all in anyway. I am from Stamford as the IP address shows, and I am just an everyday individual who posted a wrongful remark at the time that received so much attention because it turned out to actually happen. I will say again I didn’t know anything about the Benoit tragedy, it was a terrible coincidence that I never saw coming.

I hope this puts an end to this speculation that someone knew about the tragedy before it was discovered. It was just a rumor that I had heard about from other people online who were speculating what the family emergency Chris was attending to. I made a big mistake by posting this comment on his page, since all we had were what we thought was going on and nothing about what actually was going on yet, and sadly what happened turned out to be my speculation at the time. I assumed wiki would edit out my information, which they did, so thats why I didn’t go back to edit it out myself.

I know I keep repeating it but I feel terrible about the mainstream coverage this has received, since it was only a huge coincidence and a terrible event that should of never happened. I am not sure how to react, as hearing about my message becoming a huge part of the Benoit slayings made me feel terrible as everyone believes that it is connected to the tragedy, but it was just an awful coincidence. That is all I have to say, I will never post anything here again unless it is pure fact, no spam nothing like that. Thank you, and let this end this chapter of the Benoit story, and hopefully one day we will find out why this tragedy ever actually happened.

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Related news

  • “Death of Nancy Benoit rumour posted on Wikipedia hours prior to body being found” — Wikinews, June 28, 2007
  • “Professional wrestler Chris Benoit and family found dead” — Wikinews, June 26, 2007
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