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September 13, 2008

Work on Lehman Brothers’ rescue to continue over weekend

Work on Lehman Brothers’ rescue to continue over weekend

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lehman Brothers’ headquarters in New York City.

Lehman Brothers, a major American investment firm, is spending the weekend trying to find an investor that would save the firm from complete collapse. The company has lost 80 percent of its stock value since Monday, when it announced that it had not secured a deal with the Korea Development Bank, which was widely expected to occur. On Wednesday, Lehman published their biggest loss in the 158 years of their existence.

According to the Financial Times, Bank of America is trying to create a joint takeover bid with JC Flowers and the China Investment Corporation (CIC), which is a Sovereign Wealth Fund. The CIC invested $5 billion in Morgan Stanley when that bank needed a cash infusion in December 2007. It is unclear if the CIC will act as lead investor or act through JC Flowers, with which the CIC has established a fund.

The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department are working with Lehman to find a suitable bidder. Hank Paulson, Treasury secretary, promised that no government money will be given to Lehman, unlike the takeover of Bear Stearns in March of this year.

Paulson has also met with several executives of Wall Street firms to discuss the crisis and try and find possible investors. In a meeting initiated by Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it was pressed upon the banking industry that it needed to handle the crisis. The Wall Street executives included John Mack, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley; John Thain, chief executive of Merrill Lynch; Jamie Dimon, chief executive of J.P. Morgan Chase; Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of the Goldman Sachs; Vikram Pandit, chief executive of Citigroup; and representatives from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Christopher Cox, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission was also present.

The firm, which has over 25,000 staffers, has suffered bad results due to the subprime mortgage crisis.

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US – India nuclear deal sent for US Congress ratification

Filed under: India — admin @ 5:00 am

US – India nuclear deal sent for US Congress ratification

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement, which gained waiver from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Vienna on September 6, 2008, will be ratified by the US Congress to remove 34 years of sanctions against India, following a nuclear device testing in 1974.

US President George W. Bush and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh exchange handshakes in New Delhi on March 2, 2006.

NSG’s India specific waiver allows India to join a select club of nations free to have nuclear weapons, without the international watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) breathing down its neck. The waiver comes after strong opposition from China, New Zealand and Austria amongst a few others. However consensus for the waiver prevailed after India reiterated its commitment to non-proliferation and voluntary unilateral moratorium on further nuclear tests.

With a USD 100 billion nuclear trade possible over the next 10 years, a number of countries including France, Russia and Canada are all vying for a piece of action. Meanwhile India has agreed to the US request to hold back discussions with others till US Congressional ratification so as not to prejudice the US firms.

Latest reports indicate that US administration is working overtime to ensure a smooth passage for the deal in Congress session that began on Monday and trying to persuade the lawmakers not to insist on the mandatory 30 day rest period required to present the agreement for approval. It is also confirmed that U.S. President George W. Bush will welcome Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 25, 2008 for joint signing of the agreement.


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Sebastian Vettel takes pole for 2008 Italian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel takes pole for 2008 Italian Grand Prix

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File photo of Sebastian Vettel (2008)
Image: Mark McArdle.

Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Image: Rumbin.

Scuderia Toro Rosso–Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel won the pole position for the Sunday FIA Formula One 2008 Gran Premio Santander d’Italia race at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy.

The track was wet during most of the Friday practice sessions and all the qualification triplet, a rare event for the Formula One at Monza. Heavy rain conditions on the racing circuit caused a couple of surprises for the spectators.

First was the major defeat of Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes), two major competitors in the Drivers’ Championship. They totally lost the second qualifying session and will start 14th and 15th in the tomorrow race. This was accompanied by Vettel setting the best time in the session of 1:35.837.

The German driver repeatedly set the best time in the final session. His pole position was endangered by Felipe Massa, but the second Ferrari driver came only 6th in his final attempt and Heikki Kovalainen, Hamilton’s teammate in McLaren, made better progress netting second position just before the chequered flag closed the session.



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New polls show third party U.S. presidential candidates varying radically in popularity

New polls show third party U.S. presidential candidates varying radically in popularity

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

2008 United States Presidential Election
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2008 U.S. Presidential Election stories

Ralph Nader
Image: Don LaVange.

Two nationwide polls released this week, one conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs and the other by the John Birch Society (JBS), show several third party U.S. presidential candidates varying radically in popularity.

Among the 1,018 adults surveyed in the Ipsos poll, 48% said they would vote for Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama, while 42% said they would vote for Republican Party nominee John McCain. 2% support independent Ralph Nader and 1% of respondents said they would cast their ballots for Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr. The margin of error was reported as +/-3.1%.

Chuck Baldwin
Image: 2008 Baldwin/Castle National Campaign Headquarters.

The John Birch Society’s online poll, however, is showing very different numbers. In it, in which 5,972 took part from late June through last week, Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin leads Barr, McCain and Obama at 1,972 votes (33%). Baldwin is trailed by Barr, who received 1,712 votes (28.7%). Following Barr is McCain with 947 votes (15.9%) and, in last place, Obama with 341 votes (5.7%). 1,000 voters (16.7%) said that they were not voting for any of the candidates mentioned. The JBS poll was an online poll of visitors to their web site and should not be confused with a scientific poll.

Former Congressman Bob Barr
Image: Commissioned by Bob Barr.

It should be noted that both of the polls were taken before Barr’s controversial snubbing of Republican Congressman Ron Paul’s third party unity conference on Wednesday. Many of Barr’s supporters have since revoked their endorsements of him and joined other presidential campaigns, mainly Baldwin’s and Nader’s.

In the last two weeks, the percentage of third party and undecided voters has ranged from 6 – 8.0%. The percentage of undecided and third party voters reached its peak of 12.0% on July 24th, 2008, but has since steadily declined. The percentage of third party votes in the 2004 election only reached 1.0%, but in the 2000 election it reached 3.75%.

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Child stabbed in West Bank arson, Israeli settlers retaliate

Filed under: Palestine — admin @ 5:00 am

Child stabbed in West Bank arson, Israeli settlers retaliate

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

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A series of clashes in the West Bank have left several injured, following an arsonist’s targeting of the Israeli settlement of Yitzhar.

An unknown Palestinian man began setting fire to several buildings in the village, when a 9-year old child saw him and started shouting. The man stabbed the child, causing only light injury, but sparking retribution from hundreds of Israeli villagers who attacked the Palestinian village of Assira Kubilyeh, smashing windows, shooting erractically and overturning a vehicle.

The child was taken to an Israeli hospital with light injuries.

The military reports that they had worked to remove the settlers from the village, imposed a curfew and confiscated weapons from two Israeli villagers. Palestinian sources report six injuries while the security forces reported four.

In recent days the area, a part of the Shomron district, registered a number of incidents, where on a number of occasions villagers from both Yitzhar and Shalhevet accused Palestinians of coming to their area and burning fields. On the opposite, Palestinians had claimed that villagers caused damage to plantations and property, and attacked farmers.



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Channel Tunnel between France and Britain resumes limited service after major fire

Channel Tunnel between France and Britain resumes limited service after major fire

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

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Location of the fire.

The Channel Tunnel, which runs between France and Britain, has resumed limited services after an earlier fire. Of the two tunnels, only the South tunnel has been reopened to the trains that run the route, the blaze having seriously damaged the North tunnel.

The fire started on a freight train loaded with lorries. It burned for 16 hours and at its hottest was at 1,000°C. 27 lorries, six freight cars and a locomotive have been damaged. Significantly, the damage to the tunnel itself runs along a 700m stretch and exceeds the damage caused by an earlier fire last decade. The other fire required £200 million and a six month closure before the tunnel could be reopened.

The incident required 32 people, mainly lorry drivers, to be evacuated from the train, which was heading to Calais. Fourteen were taken to hospital, some suffering from smoke inhalation. Several of those who escaped have said that they had expected to die.

The fire’s cause is unclear. The Guardian reports the fire started on board a vehicle carrying chemicals, but the BBC reports that the origin is unknown. Both sources confirm a lorry carrying carbolic acid was on board and French authorities say it is overturned near the seat of the fire, but it is unclear if this is the lorry the Guardian meant.

Eurostar are operating some passenger trains through the tunnel, and limited freight services have also resumed, but long delays are expected. Car trains have not yet resumed.

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Conservative transport spokesman Timothy Kirkhope commented that he felt the fire was worrying, saying “[w]hile thankfully nobody was killed in this incident, two significant fires in 11 years should act as a wake-up call.”

However, operator Eurotunnel, who run regular evacuation drills, was pleased with the response by its staff.

French authorities are investigating the accident as it occurred at the French side, seven miles from the French exit of the 32-mile tunnel.

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West Bank arsonist stabs child, causing Israeli settlers to attack Palestinian village

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Other stories from Palestine
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Location of Palestine

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To write, edit, start or view other articles on Palestine, see the Palestine Portal
Portal:Palestine

A series of clashes in the West Bank have left several injured, following an arsonist’s targeting of the Israeli settlement of Yitzhar.

An unknown Palestinian man began setting fire to several buildings in the village, when a 9-year old child saw him and started shouting. The man stabbed the child, causing only light injury, but sparking retribution from hundreds of Israeli settlers who attacked the Palestinian village of Assira Kubilyeh, smashing windows, shooting erractically and overturning a vehicle.

The child was taken to an Israeli hospital with light injuries.

The military reports that they had worked to remove the settlers from the village, imposed a curfew and confiscated weapons from two Israeli settlers. Palestinian sources report six injuries while the security forces reported four.

In recent days the area, a part of the Shomron district, registered a number of incidents, where on a number of occasions settlers from both Yitzhar and Shalhevet accused Palestinians of coming to their area and burning fields. On the opposite, Palestinians had claimed that settlers caused damage to plantations and property, and attacked farmers.


Sources

  • Associated Press “Israeli boy stabbed by Palestinian; attack sets off settler rampage in West Bank village”. MSN, September 13, 2008
  • “4 hurt as settlers attack Palestinians following stabbing”. Jerusalem Post, September 13, 2008
  • “Settler’s revenge: Palestinians hurt in riot”. Ynet, September 13, 2008 ((Hebrew))
  • “Suspicion: Palestinian stabbed a 9 year old boy in Yitzhar; his condition is light”. Ynet, September 13, 2008 ((Hebrew))
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Blast in Delhi

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

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  • “[ ]”. Mmmmm DD, YYYY
  • Amitav Roy “[ Blast in Delhi]”. Mmmmm DD, YYYY
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\’Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008\’ comes to an close

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008
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  • 10 September 2008: ‘Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008’: Review of soccer preliminaries
  • 7 September 2008: ‘Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008’ Day 2 features martial art events
  • 6 September 2008: ‘Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008’ starts, new slogan for 2009 Summer Deaflympics unveiled
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After the table tennis event concluded, medalists from the martial art events (taekwondo, karate and judo) were confirmed on the Sept. 8, third match day of “Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008.”

Except for steady performances from the host Chinese Taipei team during the karate and taekwondo events, European athletes battled East Asian (Japan and South Korea) athletes. During the third match day, Korea’s Sukchan Yun ever defeated Turkey’s Kayaci Ibrahim within only 6 seconds in men’s 90.1kg to 100kg class. It was the shortest match in the judo event.

The bronze medal match of soccer event - Iran vs Australia.Image: Rico Shen.

The bronze medal match of soccer event – Iran vs Australia.
Image: Rico Shen.

On the final day, Sept. 10, the top four teams from the soccer event competed for medals, despite bad weather in Taipei.

The gold medal match took place between Japan and Thailand. In the 20th minute, Japan’s Hisashi Hosomi scored first. But during the added time of the first half, Thailand’s Somsak Thongdee tied the game 1-1. After the start of the second half, Thailand straightened their offense, and in the 60th minute, Thailand captain Anothai Sathiyamat scored a goal, which proved to be the game winner.

Chih-he Chen (left) presents a honor medal to Mayor of Taipei Lung-pin Hau during the Closing Ceremony.Image: Rico Shen.

Chih-he Chen (left) presents a honor medal to Mayor of Taipei Lung-pin Hau during the Closing Ceremony.
Image: Rico Shen.

In the bronze medal match between Iran and Australia, Iran defeated Australia with a 8-0 shutout. Mostafa Heydaribondarabadi, Hosseinali Mohammadi Firouzjaei, Mazaher Shirzad Sibani, Hamid Reza Khazaei, all scored in for Iran.

'Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008' comes to an close
I’m very satisfied with our preparations and administrations in the invitational games in Taipei, I hope participants can do the best during the 2009 Summer Deaflympics in the future.
'Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008' comes to an close

Lung-pin Hau, Mayor of Taipei.

After the “Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008”, Chih-he Chen, President of Asia Pacific Deaf Sports Confederation, presented an honor medal for the soccer tournament during the closing ceremony and hoped the Taipei City Government will show the best service for the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.

Final medal statistics

Only nations who won at least one bronze medal are listed.
Order Team Gold Silver Bronze
1 Chinese Taipei 8 4 5
2 Japan 7 5 6
3 Korea 3 8 5
4 Russia 3 3 2
5 Argentina 3 1 4
6 Turkey 2 4 4
7 Thailand 1 0 0
8 Hong Kong 0 1 1
9 United States 0 0 3
10 Iran 0 0 1


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Los Angeles commuter train collides head-on with freight train, 17 dead

Filed under: Cleanup — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, September 13, 2008

17 passengers and train crew members were killed in a September 12th train collision in Chatsworth, north of Los Angeles, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (AKA Metrolink) has announced. Metrolink is a regional commuter rail system that serves the greater Los Angeles area. Over 130 passengers and crew members were injured, according to the announcement.

The Los Angeles Times and other Los Angeles area news media are reporting that the incident involved a head-on collision between a freight train and a Metrolink commuter train.

Metrolink has stated that recovery operations are continuing at the collision site. Injured passengers were transported to UCLA Medical Center, Northridge Medical Center, Holy Cross Medical Center and Mission Hills Hospital.

“Our number one priority is the safety of our passengers,” the Metrolink announcement said, “and when we complete our work with the emergency response agencies on site, we will be working closely with the National Transporation Safety Board and other agencies to determine the cause of the collision and to ensure that everything possible is done to prevent a tragedy of this type from occurring again.”

The incident “has resulted in a temporary closure of the railroad route used by Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains and the Amtrak Coast Starlight,” according to a statement released by Amtrak on Saturday morning. Amtrak trains were not involved in the accident. Service on the affected Amtrak lines has been cancelled “pending restoration of the route.”

Sources

  • Metrolink “Ventura County line freight train/Metrolink collision”. September 13, 2008
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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