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April 6, 2009

Manitoba volunteers go to war against Red River flooding

Manitoba volunteers go to war against Red River flooding

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Monday, April 6, 2009

A satellite image of the Red River of the North flooding.

Canada
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Over 1,600 volunteers registered to help build approximately 65,000 of the 500,000 sandbags to create dikes 20.5 feet (6.2 meters) high to protect the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba in the war against the Red River of the North flood.

700 volunteers answered at the rural municipality of St. Andrews alone. Once sandbags are filled for West St. Paul, St. Andrews, and Selkirk, then frozen culverts must be cleared.

The height of the river is expected to be Thursday, and predictions are that it will be less than Flood of the Century of 1997. There is no precipitation in the forecast, and snow in the province should be melted by the end of the week.

“The fear right now is we have to get that ice out of the river. The Amphibex [Excavators] are still working and breaking the ice apart, and everyday we buy with the warm weather and the current, it is thinning the ice down a bit, so when it does start to move, the better chance it’ll move right out into the lake,” said Paul Guyder, the emergency coordinator for the RMs of St. Andrews and St. Clements.

Map of the Red River of the North drainage basin, with the Red River highlighted.
Image: Kmusser.

“I feel that we’ve done everything humanly possible to get ready,” said Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba, “But … there are fallibilities with human behaviour. We can take every preventative measure as human beings possible and we can still get Mother Nature proving again she is superior.”

Communities with ring diking will partially or fully close their dikes at the beginning of the week. Provincial officials are considering opening the Red River Floodway gates around mid-week before ice is fully melted.

Ice jams could cause flooding within the city, however opening the gates could spare neighbourhood flooding when the river rises to the estimated 6.3 meters (20.7 feet) height. The province does have back up plans for dealing with ice jams within the city if they do occur. The unpredictability of ice jams and the ensuing water level rise may cause neighbourhood flooding. The city is raising dikes where the river has jammed with ice in the past such as on tight curves and past bridges. Likewise there are excavators and backhoes positioned at these points.

Vulnerable neighbourhoods on the river banks have been reinforced with sandbag dikes at vulnerable areas from the massive volunteer effort over the weekend. Guyader feels no more extra volunteers are needed, however volunteers are still being asked to leave their names and number in case of unpredicted need. Existing personnel will assess roads, and help with clean up.

Approximately 400 of the 800 people who evacuated the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation have returned to their homes.

Former Premier, Dufferin Roblin, brought forward the floodway as a protection for Winnipeg residents and economy following the 1950 Red River Flood. The Red River floodway, “Duff’s Ditch” was finally finished in 1968, and its floodway gates have been opened 20 times saving Winnipeg from an estimated CA$10 billion in damages. The floodway expansion began in 2005 at a price of $665 million.

Polish and Chinese experts have come to survey the Red River Floodway, and Dennis Walaker, mayor of Fargo, North Dakota recognises the need for Red River flood defences down river. “Every town that you drive by from the Canadian line up to Winnipeg is either elevated or ring-diked,” said Walaker.



Related news

  • “Volunteers and food needed for flooded Manitoba, Canada” — Wikinews, March 31, 2009
  • Manitoba residents receive evacuation flood alerts” — Wikinews, March 28, 2009
  • “Fargo, North Dakota, prepares for record flooding” — Wikinews, March 24, 2009

Sources

Wikipedia
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2009 Red River Flood
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Jenson Button wins half of the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix points

Jenson Button wins half of the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix points

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Monday, April 6, 2009

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Jenson Button (2008) Photo credit: Mark McArdle at Flickr

Sepang International Circuit

Brawn-Mercedes driver Jenson Button wins FIA Formula One 2009 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit, Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia. The race was suspended by red flag due to heavy rain after 33 laps and later stopped after more than half an hour of waiting the track to dry up. All drivers earned only half possible points counted after 31 laps.

Nick Heidfeld on his KERS-equipped BMW Sauber car placed second from 11th place on the starting grid. Both Toyota drivers Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli ended up behind Heidfeld. Button’s teammate Rubens Barrichello finished 5th. Mark Webber’s Red Bull gained one place from the start, finishing 6th.

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton finished 7th after burst from 13th place on the start.

Nico Rosberg had a fantastic start overtaking all drivers in front of his 6th place to the first corner. Still he lose this advantage throughout the race and closed the top eight with only half a point for his Williams team.



Related news

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2009 Malaysian Grand Prix
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Italian police find 24 children living in Rome\’s sewers

Italian police find 24 children living in Rome’s sewers

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Italy
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98 people, including 24 children, were found Saturday by Italian police in the sewer system of Rome.

The Afghan youths were reported to be between the ages of 10 and 15. According to the newspaper La Repubblica, the children had stowed away on trailer trucks traveling from Turkey and Greece. They had spent nights sleeping in a standing position in filthy sewer pipes after removing the manhole covers and some of them were found in a sickly condition.

There had been reports to the police of children under the Ostiense train station, a common place for the homeless to seek shelter on cold nights.

The children, who do not speak Italian, are under the care of Rome’s Social Services. Efforts are being made by interpreters to identify the children who traveled without parental care.

Save the Children said that Afghan minors in Rome have increased to 264 in 2007 from 32 in 2004.



Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Asian countries call for global currency

Asian countries call for global currency

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Economy and business
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Leaders and central banks in Russia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Kazakhstan have called for an international currency system.

Speaking on April 1 in advance of the G-20 summit in London, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev argued that the international finance system needed a “new construction” including “new currency systems”, saying that such a new system could be the purpose of a revamped IMF and World Bank. The IMF was originally founded in 1946 as the overseer of the Bretton Woods system, which from its founding until the 1970s tied the western world’s currencies to the US Dollar, which was in turn backed by gold. Russia’s proposal was for the new currency to serve as a reserve currency, one which would take the place of the dollar, euro, and other heavily-traded currencies as an international standard of exchange.

Medvedev’s comments are a reversal of Russian position from a lukewarm response following a looser outline for a worldwide currency by Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbayev. On March 11, Nazarbayev suggested the establishment of the “acmetal”, a portmanteau of “acme” and “capital”, as a reserve currency replacing the ruble in international transactions, first for Central Asia and then worldwide. 1999 Economics Nobel laureate Robert Mundell, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, endorsed the idea, saying “It would be a very good idea if the G-20 took that idea up in London”.

2001 Nobel economics prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, meanwhile, said the new currency could come about quickly if it was based on an expansion of the IMF’s already established system of Special Drawing Rights, units of exchange used by the IMF which already have some of the features of currency. Stiglitz argued that, as the US dollar has become the standard global reserve currency, it has inadvertently created a system which hurts the world economy. “It’s a net transfer, in a sense, to the United States of foreign aid,” he argued, reasoning that when other countries purchase US dollars in order to use them on international markets (such as for the buying and selling of petroleum), they effectively give the US a zero-interest loan — sometimes at times when they can least afford it. Stiglitz made his comments as head of a United Nations panel of economists giving recommendations to address the global financial crisis.

In the weeks leading up to the G-20 conference, the People’s Republic of China also began discussing a new system for reserve currencies. In a March 23 speech, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, endorsed a new reserve currency, saying “the desirable goal of reforming the international monetary system, therefore, is to create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.” Zhou went on to endorse the expansion of the SDR system in the long-term creation of a reserve currency government by the IMF. While Zhou did not mention the US dollar specifically, analysis by Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC, for the Financial Times said that the speech “is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money”.

China holds $740 billion as assets; inflation in the US economy, which has been low in recent years, would directly cause those assets to lose value.

While the Chinese government has engaged in currency swaps with several other growing economies, such as South Korea, Argentina, Malaysia and Indonesia, the Chinese Yuan cannot be used itself as a reserve currency as it cannot be freely traded on the global market.

The Chinese-Russian proposal was not entered onto the agenda at the G-20 meeting itself. Nonetheless, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the G-20 was open to considering the proposal if and when a detailed one is presented. United States President Barack Obama, meanwhile, endorsed the continuation of dollar supremacy, saying that the US dollar is “extraordinarily strong” and arguing that its strength was the result of the intrinsic stability of the United States economic and political system; US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner had, the week before, made comments that while he supported an expansion in the SDR mechanism he rejected the idea of a global currency. Rather than change the role of SDRs, the G-20 meeting instead added $250 billion in support to the fund backing SDRs.

After the G-20 conference ended on Thursday, Malaysia’s The Star BizWeek reported that the central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand had endorsed the Chinese proposal. All three countries have close economic ties with China and suffered heavily from the collapse of their currencies in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis; the sudden growth in the value of the US dollar relative to those countries’ native currencies sharply increased debt in Southeast Asia’s economies, leading to a wave of bankruptcies.

International reaction from other economies has been mixed and guarded. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, said that the currency proposal was important to discuss but did not give extensive comment. And while UPI reports that India supported the SDR proposal at the G-20 conference, the Indian Press Trust quotes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying last month, “It is too early to talk about common currency.”

Calls for an independent global reserve currency are not new. In 1944, John Maynard Keynes proposed the “bancor”, a unit like the SDR supported by a basket of commodities. Keynes’ idea was rejected and the US dollar took the equivalent role under the Bretton Woods system. Keynes proposed that the bancor system would be reinforced by a tax on participating countries’ current accounts, the difference between their exports and their imports, in order to encourage balanced trade. Meanwhile, monetary unions have become more popular since the end of the gold standard, with most of the European Union now trading the euro, and several countries outside the EU using it as a de facto currency; five West African countries adopting the eco at the end of this year; and the African Union planning to introduce the afro in 2028. Proposals for a North American currency union based around the so-called “amero” have been frequently discussed as the focus of conspiracy theories in the United States, but none of the US, Canada or Mexico have actively pursued the establishment of any such monetary union, however the dollar is the currency of several Latin American countries.



Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Italian police find 24 children living in Rome’s sewers

Monday, April 6, 2009

Other stories from Italy
…More articles here
Location of Italy

A map showing the location of Italy

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

98 people, including 24 children, were found Saturday by Italian police in the sewer system of Rome.

The Afghan youths were reported to be between the ages of 10 and 15. According to the newspaper La Repubblica, the children had stowed away on trailer trucks traveling from Turkey and Greece. They had spent nights sleeping in a standing position in filthy sewer pipes after removing the manhole covers and some of them were found in a sickly condition.

There had been reports to the police of children under the Ostiense train station, a common place for the homeless to seek shelter on cold nights.

The children, who do not speak Italian, are under the care of Rome’s Social Services. Efforts are being made by interpreters to identify the children who traveled without parental care.

Save the Children said that Afghan minors in Rome have increased to 264 in 2007 from 32 in 2004.


Sources

  • “Afghan kids found living in Rome sewers”. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, April 5, 2009
  • “Roman police find sewer children”. BBC, April 4, 2009
  • World Latest News “Children from Afghanistan found in Rome manhole”. DPA, April 4, 2009
  • “Children living in sewer”. AFP, April 4, 2009


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.

Six-year-old Egyptian boy contracts bird flu

Six-year-old Egyptian boy contracts bird flu

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Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Egyptian Health Ministry reported on Sunday that a six-year-old Egyptian boy contracted bird flu, the sixth such incident in a month. The child was hospitalised on March 28, reported to be in critical condition after treatment, and is breathing with an artificial respirator.

The state news agency MENA revealed that the boy’s name was Ali Mahmoud Ali Somaa, and that he was from Qalyubia, a province located along the Nile Delta, located about forty kilometres north of Egypt’s capital of Cairo.

The death toll of the cases of the bird flu virus in humans in Egypt is 23, with the first incident reported in March 2006.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) website say that 413 people in fifteen countries have been infected with the H5N1 virus; out of those, 256 have died.



Sources

Wikipedia-logo.png Bird flu on Wikipedia.

More information on H5N1:
  • Avian flu
  • H5N1
  • H5N1 genetic structure
  • Transmission and infection of H5N1
Related stories
Past & Potential Flu Pandemics

Disease Year Death toll
Spanish Flu 1918/1919 50 million
Asian Flu 1957 1 million
Hong Kong Flu 1968 1 million
H5N1 Ongoing 243

 

 

 


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Italian police find 24 children living in Rome’s sewers

Filed under: Afghanistan,Disasters and accidents,Italy,Rome — admin @ 5:00 am

Monday, April 6, 2009

Other stories from Italy
…More articles here
Location of Italy

A map showing the location of Italy

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

98 people, including 24 children, were found Saturday by Italian police in the sewer system of Rome.

The Afghan youths were reported to be between the ages of 10 and 15. According to the newspaper La Repubblica, the children had stowed away on trailer trucks traveling from Turkey and Greece. They had spent nights sleeping in a standing position in filthy sewer pipes after removing the manhole covers and some of them were found in a sickly condition.

There had been reports to the police of children under the Ostiense train station, a common place for the homeless to seek shelter on cold nights.

The children, who do not speak Italian, are under the care of Rome’s Social Services. Efforts are being made by interpreters to identify the children who traveled without parental care.

Save the Children said that Afghan minors in Rome have increased to 264 in 2007 from 32 in 2004.


Sources

  • “Afghan kids found living in Rome sewers”. BBC, April 5, 2009
  • “Roman police find sewer children”. BBC, April 4, 2009
  • World Latest News “Children from Afghanistan found in Rome manhole”. DPA, April 4, 2009
  • “Children living in sewer”. AFP, April 4, 2009
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.

Italian police find 24 children living in Rome’s sewers

Filed under: Afghanistan,Disasters and accidents,Italy,Rome — admin @ 5:00 am

Monday, April 6, 2009

Other stories from Italy
…More articles here
Location of Italy

A map showing the location of Italy

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

98 people, including 24 children, were found Saturday by Italian police in the sewer system of Rome.

The Afghan youths were reported to be between the ages of 10 and 15. According to the newspaper La Repubblica, the children had stowed away on trailer trucks traveling from Turkey and Greece. They had spent nights sleeping in a standing position in filthy sewer pipes after removing the manhole covers and some of them were found in a sickly condition.

There had been reports to the police of children under the Ostiense train station, a common place for the homeless to seek shelter on cold nights.

The children, who do not speak Italian, are under the care of Rome’s Social Services. Efforts are being made by interpreters to identify the children who traveled without parental care.

Save the Children said that Afghan minors in Rome have increased to 264 in 2007 from 32 in 2004.


Sources

  • “Afghan kids found living in Rome sewers”. BBC, April 5, 2009
  • “Roman police find sewer children”. BBC, April 4, 2009
  • World Latest News “Children from Afghanistan found in Rome manhole”. DPA, April 4, 2009
  • “Children living in sewer”. AFP, April 4, 2009
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.

Italian police find 24 children living in Rome’s sewers

Filed under: Afghanistan,Disasters and accidents,Italy,Rome — admin @ 5:00 am

Monday, April 6, 2009

Other stories from Italy
…More articles here
Location of Italy

A map showing the location of Italy

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

98 people, including 24 children, were found Saturday by Italian police in the sewer system of Rome.

The Afghan youths were reported to be between the ages of 10 and 15. According to the newspaper La Repubblica, the children had stowed away on trailer trucks traveling from Turkey and Greece. They had spent nights sleeping in a standing position in filthy sewer pipes after removing the manhole covers and some of them were found in a sickly condition.

There had been reports to the police of children under the Ostiense train station, a common place for the homeless to seek shelter on cold nights.

The children, who do not speak Italian, are under the care of Rome’s Social Services. Efforts are being made by interpreters to identify the children who traveled without parental care.

Save the Children said that Afghan minors in Rome have increased to 264 in 2007 from 32 in 2004.


Sources

  • “Afghan kids found living in Rome sewers”. BBC, April 5, 2009
  • “Roman police find sewer children”. BBC, April 4, 2009
  • World Latest News “Children from Afghanistan found in Rome manhole”. DPA, April 4, 2009
  • “Children living in sewer”. AFP, April 4, 2009
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.

Major magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes Central Italy

Filed under: Disasters and accidents,Earthquakes,Italy — admin @ 5:00 am

Monday, April 6, 2009

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) a major magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck Central Italy at 03:32:42 AM local time. The epicenter was registered 95 kilometres (60 miles) northeast of Italy’s capital of Rome at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles).

No details are immediately available.


Sources

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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