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July 30, 2009

Vestas protesters sacked with immediate effect

Vestas protesters sacked with immediate effect

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Vestas worker stays in touch with the outside world via his mobile telephone.

Eleven of the 25 workers at the Vestas factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, England who have been carrying out a sit-in since Monday July 20 have been sacked with immediate effect.

According to one of the protesters known as “Mike”, the occupiers were given their dismissal notices concealed under slices of their evening meal of pizza. The company said that the protesters have had ample opportunity to air their point of view, and had no choice but to sack eleven of the twenty five workers that they had positively identified; and that given that the fact that the action constituted a “fundamental breach” of trust, that the eleven would not be entitled to redundancy packages. A press release from the company said that Vestas “saw no other choice than to dismiss the 11 employees, who the company has positively identified as the employees currently participating in the occupation of the factory.”

The protesters remained upbeat, vowing to continue their occupation and have called upon the UK government to save the 625 jobs and to nationalise the Danish owned factory. Occupier Ian Terry told the BBC that if the occupiers are forced out, they plan to leave the building “peacefully”.

Vestas management were dealt a setback today in ending the occupation as Newport County Court ruled that the papers accusing the occupiers of aggravate trespass and requiring they surrender the office they occupy by July 29 were improperly served. The case has been adjourned until Tuesday August 4. In court, Judge Graham White said he was “distinctly uncomfortable” with what he perceived as Vestas’ effort to “get around the rules” in retaking the factory from the occupiers.

Legal representation for the Vestas workers had been offered by Bob Crow, secretary of the RMT trade union. Crow has pledged the “full solidarity” of the RMT and seven other unions with the workers occupying the plant.

Vestas management has also been providing the occupiers with hot meals in an apparent response to Crow’s announcement, made on July 24, that the RMT was planning on airlifting food into the factory by helicopter. Crow is meeting today with Ed Miliband, the Environment Minister.

Earlier in the week, Miliband pledged £6 million in funding to an expansion of Vestas’ Isle of Wight research and development centre, which currently employs 110 workers and could, said the Minister, be expanded to employ 40 more.

Vestas workers spend time outside on a factory balcony

Rallies continued throughout the week in support of the Vestas occupiers. Since the occupation began, the Vestas workers have received declarations of support and solidarity from a wide swathe of the British left, including but not limited to: political parties Green Party, Respect, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the Alliance for Workers Liberty, and the Communist Party of Britain; the TUCG group, which brings together the BFAWU, FBU, NAPO, NUJ, PCS, POA, RMT, and URTU; and environmental groups Greenpeace, the Campaign against Climate Change, Climate Camp, and Workers’ Climate Action, who claims credit for initiating the campaign to occupy the factory. Attendees of the Big Green Gathering, a large annual environmentalist rally which was due to take place starting today but was suddenly canceled on Sunday, are being encouraged to go to the Isle of Wight and take part in support rallies for Vestas instead.

Speaking to Wikinews about the “red-green” coalition supporting the occupation, a spokesman for the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty said: “We think this struggle is important on at least three grounds — it is central to the struggle for jobs, it is central to the struggle for the environment, and it is central to the struggle for rebuilding the labour movement.”

Photographs shared with Wikinews by the occupiers show the occupiers, mostly young men, talking, carrying out everyday tasks, and keeping in touch with the outside world via mobile phones. The use of mobile telephones in the Vestas occupation has given the press remarkable access to the occupiers and provided an effective platform for relaying their demands and feelings to the media. In contrast, Vestas’s designated media contact for the United Kingdom is on vacation. Attempts to reach Vestas Newport factory manager Patrick Weir, whom a Vestas representative at the company’s Danish headquarters stated was handling press inquiries regarding the occupation, received no reply.

Vestas plans to close the factory on July 31, citing the difficulties of obtaining planning permission for wind farms in the United Kingdom. All blades manufactured at Vestas’ Newport plant are sent to the United States. 1900 employees of the company in Northern Europe face job losses, 625 of them in Vestas’s plants in the south of England.



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Jaipur\’s Queen Gayatri Devi dies at 90

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

Jaipur’s Queen Gayatri Devi dies at 90 – Wikinews, the free news source

Jaipur’s Queen Gayatri Devi dies at 90

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

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Maharani Gayatri Devi, formerly the Rajmata of Jaipur and one of the last of India’s surviving royalty, died Wednesday, July 29, after a ten-day illness. She was 90 years old.

Born in 1919 into the royal family of Cooch Behar, in 1939 Devi married Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur, becoming his third wife.

After India gained independence in 1947, the popular Devi ran for parliament in 1962 as a member of the Swatantra Party, winning her constituency with a then-record 78% of the vote. Devi won reelection twice, but she ran afoul of tax laws after the abolition of privy purses in 1971 and was jailed for five months.

After her release from prison, she withdrew from politics and published an autobiography, A Princess Remembers, in 1976; the 1997 film Mémoires d’une princesse des Indes (Memoirs of a Hindu Princess) was based around her life.

A funeral planned in Jaipur for today has drawn thousands of attendees. Gayatri Devi is survived by two grandchildren.



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Airbus offers funding to search for black boxes from Air France disaster

Airbus offers funding to search for black boxes from Air France disaster

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Air France A330.
Image: Christopher Weyer.

Airbus have announced that they will be willing to contribute between 12 million and €20 million (about US$16 million to $28 million) to fund an extended search for the black boxes from Air France Flight 447. The Airbus A330 jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in June, killing all 228 people on board.

Chief executive Thomas Enders said in a statement, “We want to know what happened, as improving air safety is our top priority. We are fully committed to support the extension of the search with a significant contribution.” Although airframers normally supply technical assistance to investigations, the required impartiality makes funding rare, with Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath saying the company’s move was unprecedented.

“This is an exceptional accident and an exceptional situation,” Schaffrath explained. France’s investigative agency BEA has requested financial assistance for the search from both Airbus and Air France. Air France have discussed this possibility with the BEA.

Investigators have already given up looking for the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder using the conventional method of tracing audio ‘pingers’, the batteries of which would have expired after 30–40 days. Efforts are ongoing using sensitive equipment under tow from a French naval vessel, but if this search proves fruitless then the BEA will seek money for a further three-month search.

The jet’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was able to transmit information regarding problems on board prior to the crash. The ACARS data suggests that the plane had suffered from a loss of valuable readings including airspeed, leading suspicion to fall on the pitot-static system which supplies various measurements.

Airbus had already recommended that one component of this system, the pitot tubes, be replaced on A330s. Air France had not done this on the accident airplane although the entire fleet now features the modified design. Three other incidents have been identified since that may involve similar circumstances. The United States National Transportation Safety Board is probing two over American soil while earlier this month another Air France A330 equipped with the new tubes suffered a similar series of problems enroute from Italy to France.



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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.

Jaipur’s Queen Gayatri Devi dies at 90

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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

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Obituaries on Wikinews
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Maharani Gayatri Devi, formerly the Rajmata of Jaipur and one of the last of India‘s surviving royalty, died Wednesday, July 29, after a ten-day illness. She was 90 years old.

Born in 1919 into the royal family of Cooch Behar, in 1939 Devi married Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur, becoming his third wife.

After India gained independence in 1947, the popular Devi ran for parliament in 1962 as a member of the Swatantra Party, winning her constituency with a then-record 78% of the vote. Devi won reelection twice, but she ran afoul of tax laws after the abolition of privy purses in 1971 and was jailed for five months.

After her release from prison, she withdrew from politics and published an autobiography, A Princess Remembers, in 1976; the 1997 film Mémoires d’une princesse des Indes (Memoirs of a Hindu Princess) was based around her life.

A funeral planned in Jaipur for today has drawn thousands of attendees. Gayatri Devi is survived by two grandchildren.


Sources

Wikipedia
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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 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.

Michigan student and California engineer sue Amazon for remote deletion of ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’

Filed under: Crime and law,Review,Science and technology,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Justin Gawronski and Antoine Bruguier sued Amazon.com Thursday for remotely deleting their copies of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, argues in part that Amazon violated its terms of service, as well as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Washington Consumer Protection Act.

Gawronski, a Michigan high school senior, originally purchased both his Kindle and a digital copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four for his Advanced Placement English summer reading. He made regular annotations using the Kindle’s facility, noting “If […] something […] catches my eye as I am reading, I just place a note there”. After reading online that Amazon was deleting some copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four, he turned his Kindle on, and watched the copy he had purchased vanish. He later found that the notes he had written were effectively useless, stating, “all my notes refer back to nothing”. He said he would probably have to re-read the entire book.

Bruguier, a Silicon Valley engineer, also had his copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four remotely deleted. According to the complaint, Amazon sent him an email saying they were “writing to confirm that we have processed your refund.” In response, Bruguier wrote that “I would like to keep the title 1984. I like this book.” Amazon refused to allow him to do so, and said they would not provide any additional “additional insight or action”. Eventually, Amazon wrote a new email justifying the deletion by claiming they had lacked the right to sell him the book. Bruguier noted in response that he was “annoyed by [Amazon’s] deceit” and that he “thought that once purchased, the books were [his].” His emails also quoted the portion of Amazon’s terms of service cited in the suit.

Both clients are represented by KamberEdelson, and the lawsuit seeks class action status. Several classes are delineated, representing relevant sub-groupings of Kindle owners.

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.

Michigan student and California engineer sue Amazon for remote deletion of Nineteen Eighty-Four

Filed under: Crime and law,Review,Science and technology,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Justin Gawronski and Antoine Bruguier sued Amazon.com Thursday for remotely deleting their copies of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, argues in part that Amazon violated its terms of service, as well as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Washington Consumer Protection Act.

Gawronski, a Michigan high school senior, originally purchased both his Kindle and a digital copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four for his Advanced Placement English summer reading. He made regular annotations using the Kindle’s facility, noting “If […] something […] catches my eye as I am reading, I just place a note there”. After reading online that Amazon was deleting some copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four, he turned his Kindle on, and watched the copy he had purchased vanish. He later found that the notes he had written were effectively useless, stating, “all my notes refer back to nothing”. He said he would probably have to re-read the entire book.

Bruguier, a Silicon Valley engineer, also had his copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four remotely deleted. According to the complaint, Amazon sent him an email saying they were “writing to confirm that we have processed your refund.” In response, Bruguier wrote that “I would like to keep the title 1984. I like this book.” Amazon refused to allow him to do so, and said they would not provide any additional “additional insight or action”. Eventually, Amazon wrote a new email justifying the deletion by claiming they had lacked the right to sell him the book. Bruguier noted in response that he was “annoyed by [Amazon’s] deceit” and that he “thought that once purchased, the books were [his].” His emails also quoted the portion of Amazon’s terms of service cited in the suit.

Both clients are represented by KamberEdelson, and the lawsuit seeks class action status. Several classes are delineated, representing relevant sub-groupings of Kindle owners.

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.

Michael Schumacher returns to Formula One to replace injured Massa

Filed under: Auto racing,Culture and entertainment,Formula One,Sports — admin @ 5:00 am

Thursday, July 30, 2009

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File photo of Michael Schumacher (2005)
Image: Chris J. Moffett.

Seven-time world Formula One racing champion Michael Schumacher announced his plans to replace Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari car in the FIA Formula One 2009 European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain.

It is true that the Formula 1 chapter has long been closed for me … For team loyalty reasons I can’t ignore this unfortunate situation.

—Michael Schumacher

Massa was recently injured after a spring got loose from Rubens Barricello‘s car and hit his head in the Hungarian GP. Schumacher is expected to replace Massa for at least one Formula One event until the recovery of the Brazilian driver. Schumacher will get ready for his return using a special training program, checking his recovery after he fell off a motorcycle.

As the competitor I am, I also very much look forward to facing this challenge.

—Michael Schumacher

The last time the “Red Baron” drove the Ferrari car was more than a year ago, in April 2008. If Schumacher starts in Valencia, it would be his first GP with Kimi Räikkönen as his team mate.

The most important thing first: thank God, all news concerning Felipe is positive, and I wish him all the best again.

—Michael Schumacher

Massa and Schumacher were team mates during the latter’s last season and the two are said to be close friends. Massa was in a medically induced coma for several days but took his first steps today and can speak coherently; it was also confirmed today that he can still see out of both eyes. Concern does still remain about potential damage to his left eye. Massa was due to leave intensive care Wednesday and may be walking fully within ten days, although doctors remain cautious in their outlook for the Brazilian, who was runner-up in last year’s season.

There were different speculations about Massa’s replacement: most notable and curious was that the double world championship winner Fernando Alonso was to negotiate with Ferrari after the Renault team was penalized to skip the GP on Alonso’s home soil. Alonso was out of the recent Hungarian GP just after the first pit-stop cause of a loose wheel nut of the right front wheel. This incident not only stripped Renault of the possible podium finish, but also caused that penalty. To note, it was also the Hungarian GP of 2006 when Alonso was in the lead for most of the race, but ended it right after his pit-stop because off a badly attached right front wheel. That race was unexpectedly won by Jenson Button, who is now the championship leader.

In other news related to Formula One BMW Sauber announced plans to retire from the sport at the end of this season. FOTA says it will try to help the team to stay in Formula One, which could possibly mean moves similar to those when Honda waswithdrawn from Formula One at the end of the previous season.


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Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:


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.

Michael Schumacher returns to Formula One to replace injured Massa

Michael Schumacher returns to Formula One to replace injured Massa

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories

File photo of Michael Schumacher (2005)
Image: Chris J. Moffett.

Seven-time world Formula One racing champion Michael Schumacher announced his plans to replace Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari car in the FIA Formula One 2009 European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain.

Cquote1.svg It is true that the Formula 1 chapter has long been closed for me … For team loyalty reasons I can’t ignore this unfortunate situation. Cquote2.svg

—Michael Schumacher

Massa was recently injured after a spring got loose from Rubens Barricello’s car and hit his head in the Hungarian GP. Schumacher is expected to replace Massa for at least one Formula One event until the recovery of the Brazilian driver. Schumacher will get ready for his return using a special training program, checking his recovery after he fell off a motorcycle.

Cquote1.svg As the competitor I am, I also very much look forward to facing this challenge. Cquote2.svg

—Michael Schumacher

The last time the “Red Baron” drove the Ferrari car was more than a year ago, in April 2008. If Schumacher starts in Valencia, it would be his first GP with Kimi Räikkönen as his team mate.

Cquote1.svg The most important thing first: thank God, all news concerning Felipe is positive, and I wish him all the best again. Cquote2.svg

—Michael Schumacher

Massa and Schumacher were team mates during the latter’s last season and the two are said to be close friends. Massa was in a medically induced coma for several days but took his first steps today and can speak coherently; it was also confirmed today that he can still see out of both eyes. Concern does still remain about potential damage to his left eye. Massa was due to leave intensive care Wednesday and may be walking fully within ten days, although doctors remain cautious in their outlook for the Brazilian, who was runner-up in last year’s season.

There were different speculations about Massa’s replacement: most notable and curious was that the double world championship winner Fernando Alonso was to negotiate with Ferrari after the Renault team was penalized to skip the GP on Alonso’s home soil. Alonso was out of the recent Hungarian GP just after the first pit-stop cause of a loose wheel nut of the right front wheel. This incident not only stripped Renault of the possible podium finish, but also caused that penalty. To note, it was also the Hungarian GP of 2006 when Alonso was in the lead for most of the race, but ended it right after his pit-stop because off a badly attached right front wheel. That race was unexpectedly won by Jenson Button, who is now the championship leader.

In other news related to Formula One BMW Sauber announced plans to retire from the sport at the end of this season. FOTA says it will try to help the team to stay in Formula One, which could possibly mean moves similar to those when Honda was withdrawn from Formula One at the end of the previous season.



Related news

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Michael Schumacher
Bookmark-new.svg


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.

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