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July 17, 2010

Toyota, Tesla to develop electric SUV

Filed under: Toyota — admin @ 5:00 am

Toyota, Tesla to develop electric SUV – Wikinews, the free news source

Toyota, Tesla to develop electric SUV

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

2009 RAV4.

Toyota Motor Company announced they have formalized an agreement to develop an electric version of the RAV4 SUV with Tesla Motors.

In May 2010, Akio Toyoda and Elon Musk, leaders of Toyota and Tesla, respectively, announced they would work together on electric vehicles. The agreement formalizes this announcement and would allow Tesla to work with Toyota at an automobile production plant in California.

The plant will open 2011, when Tesla reopens it after it bought the Fremont, California plant. The plant was previously used by Toyota and General Motors, but was shut down when Toyota said it would not produce cars in California.

Tesla currently produces only a single model, the US$109,000 Roadster, although it is currently designing a second model, the Model S, which will be produced at the Fremont factory.

Analysts supported the move; John Boesel, CEO of a green-transportation trade group, said that “Toyota’s willingness to partner with Tesla to provide an electric version of one of the Japanese automaker’s existing vehicles suggests the partnership between the two companies is going to be a meaningful one.”

Following this announcement, Tesla’s shares rose $0.75, while Toyota’s fell $1.65.



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Sudanese Army claims to have killed 300 Darfur rebels in clashes

Sudanese Army claims to have killed 300 Darfur rebels in clashes

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Darfur region of Sudan is a war torn region. According to the UN, 300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million people displaced.

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The Sudanese Army said it killed over 300 rebels in the Darfur region of the country, and lost 75 of its own in clashes during the past week. General Al-Tayeb al-Musbah Osman was quoted by the Sudanese media as saying the fighting was with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He also said that the government’s forces had destroyed rebel vehicles in the fighting, as well as capturing 86 people.

The Justice and Equality Movement denied the government’s statements, saying that they had defeated the army, not the other way around. UNAMID said there had been fighting in the area, but it would not say the number of the casualties. This incident is the second of its kind in recent months; in May, several hundred rebel fighters were killed by the government.

The Justice and Equality Movement is one of two rebel movements that have boycotted peace talks with the government; the other one is the Sudan Liberation Army.

The Darfur Region has been subject to violence for the past seven years, when the rebels began to fight the government, saying that the the western part of the country was being neglected. The UN has said that over 300,000 people have been killed, and 2.7 million people have been forced to relocate, while the Sudanese government claims only 10,000 people have died. The Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashiri has been charged with genocide due to his handling of the situation in Darfur.



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Lady Gaga warns fans of \’hateful\’ protests during concerts

Lady Gaga warns fans of ‘hateful’ protests during concerts

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

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Gaga performing on The Monster Ball Tour in Burswood Dome, Perth, Australia.
Image: Michael Spencer.

Singer and song writer Lady Gaga has warned her fans attending concerts about “hateful” protests that are set to take place during a concert she will be having tonight in St. Louis, Missouri. The Westboro Baptist Church will be protesting outside the venue during her concert. Gaga warned of these protests on her Twitter page.

“At the risk of drawing attention to a hateful organization, I would like to make my little monster fan [sic] aware of a protest being held outside the Monsterball in St.Louis tonight. Although we have had protesters before, as well as fundamentalists at the show this group of protesters are hate criminals and preach using lude [sic] and violent language and imagery that I wish I [could] protect you all from.”

The Church, based in Topeka, Kansas and not affiliated with any Baptist organization, had planned to protest at Gaga’s prior concerts held in St. Louis. The most recent protest was scheduled in January and was later canceled prior to the concert. According to Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokesperson for the church, “[God] hates homosexuals and God hates fags [and] God hates whore Gaga,” which is why the group plans a protest at tonight’s concert.

“So when she gets up there and tries to hook God with that thing He calls an abomination; if you love what God hates, then God hates you,” said Phelps-Roper in January. According to the church’s website, the protest begins at 7:10 p.m. and lasts until 8:00 p.m.. “Now what type of wicked hypocrites would we be if we did not warn this little false prophetess and all of her over-indulged sycophants that they are each one, individually heading straight to hell in a gender-confused, self-loathing, tone-deaf hand basket and that a gift from the God they hate? So, we made a couple of songs just for this event,” said their website.

Gaga tells her fans to not listen to the group. “My request to all little monsters and public authority is to pay these hate criminals no mind. Do not interact with them, or try to fight. Do not respond to any of their provocation. Don’t waste your words, or feelings, no matter what you hear or see. You are more fortunate and blessed than they are, and in your heart just pray for them. Be inspired to ignore their ignorant message, and feel gratitude in your heart that you are not burdened or addicted to hate, as they are.”

The Church plans two other protests at her concerts in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on July 20 and Kansas City, Missouri on August 3.


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Fire strikes Slovak Academy of Sciences

Fire strikes Slovak Academy of Sciences – Wikinews, the free news source

Fire strikes Slovak Academy of Sciences

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Patrónka district of Bratislava, where the SAS Virology Institute is located

The Virology Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) in Bratislava was severely damaged by fire. The flames reportedly reached as high as one hundred meters. The fire most likely started from the gas tank used for oxy-fuel welding during the building’s restoration process, SAS speaker Viera Rosová said.

Firefighters from all Bratislava fire-stations took part in the fire-fighting operation. The situation was complicated by dense smoke, necessitating the use of gas masks.

Thanks to a quick evacuation of SAS employees and construction workers, none were injured. However, some equipment of the top-level scientific facility was damaged and various research projects will be affected as well, Rosová admitted. The “software unit containing information of incalculable value” was rescued in time, reports say.

There is no danger of toxic spills or leak of viruses. The micro-biotic organisms studied in the institute are safely stored and infected animals were not held in this building. The institute owns about two thousand animals. The virology samples will be destroyed as the coolers went out of service after the power supply was cut for security reasons during fire-fighting. The SAS vice-chairman Albert Beier estimated the value of the cooler boxes to be close to two million Euros. “They often contain a life-long work of our researchers,” he added.



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Car bomb in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico kills several, many injured

Car bomb in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico kills several, many injured

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

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Juárez on a map, where Ciudad Juárez is located, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
Image: Battroid.

A car bomb that exploded at about 20:00 MDT Thursday (01:00 Friday UTC) in a violent area of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico killed several people and injured more.

Police spokesman Jacinto Seguro said Friday that Mexican federal police received a call that an officer was dead. Seguro went on to say, “When they went to check the car, there was a dead body in there, dressed up like a police officer, but it wasn’t one of ours. They put him in a civilian car but dressed him up in a municipal police uniform. That’s when the bomb went off. It’s like an act of terrorism.”

Federal police spokesman Ramon Salinas said the blast killed two officers, a paramedic, and one civilian, although Mayor Jose Reyes said that only three died. At least six others were injured, although reports have said the total injured may be as high as sixteen. Four remain in the hospital, including three paramedics and one civilian.

Mexican authorities say it was a car bomb, but counter-terrorism experts are still unsure as to what caused the vehicle to explode. Intelligence expert Fred Burton said, “For this to be an improvised grenade attack, in some capacity, it doesn’t surprise me.”

The Juarez cartel, one of the two drug-traffickers in the area, claimed responsibility for the bombing in a graffiti message. “We have more car bombs,” the graffiti said.

Ciudad Juárez has a history for trafficking drugs to the United States, especially into Texas.

Before the explosion, the police arrested a suspected leader of the Juarez cartel, Jesus Armando Acosta Guerrero.

This year more than 7,000 people have died as a result of drug-related violence in Mexico since this year began. Attorney General Arturo Chavez on Friday said nearly 25,000 people have died in the last three and a half year period.



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Australian election debate debacle

Australian election debate debacle – Wikinews, the free news source

Australian election debate debacle

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

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Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister of Australia, of the Australian Labor Party.
Image: Adam Carr.

Tension is rising over the arrangements of how many debates the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard of the Australian Labor Party, and the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott of the Liberal Party, should have prior to the upcoming federal election.

Gillard told the National Press Club yesterday that she planned to conduct only one debate with her opposition, saying that “I’ve debated (Opposition Leader) Tony Abbott a lot, as people in this room know”. However, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party had committed in 2007 to having three debates prior to an election.

The federal director of the Liberal Party then wrote to the national secretary of the Labor Party to confirm the arrangements. In the letter the director writes: “I note the Labor Party’s request before the 2007 campaign to hold three debates and confirm that Mr Abbott is available to debate Ms Gillard on three occasions […] Given the level of public interest, the Liberal Party believes it is appropriate that each debate be conducted in a different format to allow both leaders to reach as many Australians as possible and permit discussion of a wider range of issues […] Please confirm Ms Gillard’s agreement to honor the Labor Party’s commitment to three debates as soon as convenient”.

A member of the Labor Party later told The Australian that the commitment was Rudd’s and not Gillard’s, as suggested.

Phillip Hudson, president of the National Press Club’s Canberra gallery, which usually hosts and organizes the debates, said in a statement that the gallery committee remains optimistic that both parties will honor their promise of participating in the Three Leaders’ Debate which would include Gillard, Abbott and Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens party, set to take place on the first Sunday of the campaign, which has yet to be announced.



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Apple to give free cases, refunds to iPhone 4 owners

Apple to give free cases, refunds to iPhone 4 owners

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiling iPhone 4
Image: Matthew Yohe.

Apple Inc. announced Friday that it will give owners of its new iPhone 4 a free case in response to mounting concerns over the device’s antenna placement. The iPhone 4 antenna is actually a metal strip that wraps around the side of the device, which has caused dropped calls when held in a certain way.

The announcement came in a rare press conference held by Apple on Friday morning. During the event, company CEO Steve Jobs attempted to address reports by both consumers and the media of signal reception issues relating to the positioning of the phone’s antenna. Rather than recall the devices or offer a hardware fix, Jobs said yesterday that Apple will offer a free case to anyone who has purchased an iPhone 4.

The rubber cases, or “bumpers”, wrap around the side of an iPhone and have been found to alleviate the reception issues. Apple’s bumpers were priced at US$29 before the press conference, but will be free to anyone with an iPhone 4 until September 30. Jobs also said that those who had already purchased a bumper will receive a full refund for the accessory. For consumers still dissatisfied with iPhone 4, Jobs said that the phones can be returned for a refund as well.

Jobs acknowledged that “a very small percentage of users” were experiencing antenna issues, but dismissed the existence of an “Antennagate,” saying that similar problems plague all cellular phones and that the iPhone issue “has been blown so out of proportion that it is incredible.” He showed videos demonstrating a drop in signal strength when held in a certain way for other smartphones to help make his point.

According to company statistics, about one out of every 200 iPhone 4 customers have called AppleCare to complain about the antenna. The iPhone 4 return rate is about one-third of the iPhone 3GS return rate. However, Jobs admitted that the percentage of calls dropped on the iPhone 4 was slightly greater than the percentage of calls dropped on the 3GS. Jobs attributed the small increase to fewer iPhone 4 users putting cases on their devices.

In response to critics saying that Apple had not addressed the reception problem quickly enough, Jobs said that iPhone 4 had only been out for 22 days and that the company could not have resolved the issue any faster. The press event came just days after Consumer Reports declined to give Apple’s newest phone a “recommended” rating due to the antenna’s placement. The group said that Apple’s move to give away free cases is a good first step, but not permanent enough to earn a higher rating.

Earlier, on June 24, Apple told customers to either hold the phone without covering the antenna, or to use a case. The so-called “death grip”, however, has not been as big an issue for other phones as it has for iPhone 4, said Mike Gikas of Consumer Reports. On July 2, Apple associated the issue with a long-undiscovered software bug relating to the formula for calculating signal strength. An iOS update released Thursday came with an updated, more accurate method of calculating the number of cellular signal bars to display, but did not actually prevent the signal loss that comes with covering the antenna.



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Lady Gaga warns fans of ‘hateful’ protests during concerts

Filed under: Acting,Culture and entertainment,Film,Radio,Television,Theatre — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gaga performing on The Monster Ball Tour in Burswood Dome, Perth, Australia.
Image: Michael Spencer.

Singer and song writer Lady Gaga has warned her fans attending concerts about “hateful” protests that are set to take place during a concert she will be having tonight in St. Louis, Missouri. The Westboro Baptist Church will be protecting outside the venue during her concert. Gaga warned of these protests on her Twitter page.

“At the risk of drawing attention to a hateful organization, I would like to make my little monster fan aware of a protest being held outside the Monsterball in St.Louis tonight. Although we have had protesters before, as well as fundamentalists at the show this group of protesters are hate criminals and preach using lude and violent language and imagery that I wish I [could] protect you all from.”

The Church, based in Topeka, Kansas and not affiliated with any Baptist organization, has planned to protest at Gaga’s prior concerts held in St. Louis. The most recent protest was scheduled in January and was later canceled prior to the concert. According to Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokesperson for the church, “[God] hates homosexuals and God hates fags [and] God hates whore Gaga,” which is why the group plans a protest at tonight’s concert.

“So when she gets up there and tries to hook God with that thing He calls an abomination; if you love what God hates, then God hates you,” said Phelps-Roper in January. According to the church’s website, the protest begins at 7:10 p.m. and lasts until 8:00 p.m.. “Now what type of wicked hypocrites would we be if we did not warn this little false prophetess and all of her over-indulged sycophants that they are each one, individually heading straight to hell in a gender-confused, self-loathing, tone-deaf hand basket and that a gift from the God they hate? So, we made a couple of songs just for this event,” said their website.

Gaga tells her fan to not listen to the group. “My request to all little monsters and public authority is to pay these hate criminals no mind. Do not interact with them, or try to fight. Do not respond to any of their provocation. Don’t waste your words, or feelings, no matter what you hear or see. You are more fortunate and blessed than they are, and in your heart just pray for them. Be inspired to ignore their ignorant message, and feel gratitude in your heart that you are not burdened or addicted to hate, as they are.”

The Church plans two other protests at her concerts in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on July 20 and Kansas City, Missouri on August 3.


Sources

  • Lady Gaga “Lady Gaga on Twitter” – Twitter, All tweets related to article published: July 17, 2010
  • “Westboro Baptist Church Upcoming Picket Schedule” – Westboro Baptist Church, N/A
  • “WBC to picket simple slut Lady Gaga” – Westboro Baptist Church, June 23, 2010
  • “Westboro Baptist Church prepares to protest Lady Gaga St. Louis concert” – KSDK, January 7, 2010
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