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June 30, 2015

TEST PAGE:Self-publish yesterday

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TEST PAGE:Self-publish yesterday

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015



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Messi\’s name saves life in Nigeria

Messi’s name saves life in Nigeria – Wikinews, the free news source

Messi’s name saves life in Nigeria

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

On Sunday, Jorge Menedez, brother of Santiago Menedez who was kidnapped in Nigeria, told Argentine newspaper Clarin that his brother credited Argentina football captain Lionel Messi for saving his life. Santiago Menedez said even though his kidnappers did not know English, crying Messi’s name was enough to explain to them he was a citizen of Argentina.

Santiago Lopez Menendez, a 28-year-old Argentine agronomist, working in Abuja, Nigeria was finally freed on Saturday after Nigerian kidnappers kidnapped him when he was travelling alone last Wednesday.

The armed kidnappers beat him seriously. They tortured him and did not provide him food and water. Menedez felt that they misinterpreted that he was from the US. Menedez tried to tell that he was not from the US, but kidnappers could not understand as they hardly knew English. The Argentine man started shouting “Messi, Messi, Messi” and thus Nigerian men understood he wasn’t from the US, but from Messi’s country, Argentina. Moreover, the company where Menedez worked also paid an undisclosed amount for the employee.

Menedez was finally released three days after when he cried Messi’s name to tell his nationality. His brother Jorge spoke to Argentine newspaper, Clarin and conveyed what Santiago said: “‘Tell them I am grateful to Messi […] Naming him is what saved me.'” Menedez would return to Argentina in a week.



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June 29, 2015

Argentina beats Colombia 5-4 over penalties in Copa America quarter final 2015

Argentina beats Colombia 5-4 over penalties in Copa America quarter final 2015

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Monday, June 29, 2015

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On Friday, Argentina defeated Colombia in the third quarter- final of the 2015 Copa América((en)) which was held in Estadio Sausalito stadium in Viña del Mar, Chile. Argentina defeated Colombia 5–4 on penalty shootout.

Argentina had more possession in the match. A total of eight yellow cards were shown for 35 fouls, of which six came in the first half. Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina denied Messi and Agüero’s on target shots in the first half. Only one substitution was made in the first half. The second half saw just two yellow cards.

At the end of 90 minutes, 4 minutes were added. But, no side could find the net. Since no extra time is added in quarter-finals of Copa America, penalty shoot-out was called. Colombia began the penalty shoot-out. A total of 5 penalties were missed and Tevez’s penalty kick converted into goal sealed the victory for Argentina.

Argentina is now to face the winner of Brazil v Paraguay quarter-final on June 30.




June 26, 2015
Argentina 0–0
(5-4) on penalties
Colombia Estadio Sausalito, Viña del Mar
Referee: Roberto García (Mexico)
Messi Penalty scored
Garay Penalty scored
Banega Penalty scored
Lavezzi Penalty scored
Biglia Missed
Rojo Missed
Tevez Penalty scored
Penalty scored Rodríguez
Penalty scored Falcao
Penalty scored Cuadrado
Missed Muriel
Penalty scored Cardona
Missed Zúñiga
Missed Murillo

Squad

GK 1 Sergio Romero
4 Pablo Zabaleta
2 Ezequiel Garay
17 Nicolás Otamendi
16 Marcos Rojo
6 Lucas Biglia
14 Javier Mascherano  Booked after 34 minutes 34′
21 Javier Pastore Substituted off after 77 minutes 77′
10 Messi (c Booked after 90+1 minutes 90+1′
11 Sergio Agüero Booked after 20 minutes 20′  Substituted off after 73 minutes 73′
7 Ángel Di María Substituted off after 87 minutes 87′
Substitutions:
18 Carlos Tevez Substituted on after 73 minutes 73′
19 Éver Banega Substituted on after 77 minutes 77′
22 Ezequiel Lavezzi Substituted on after 87 minutes 87′
Manager:
Gerardo Martino
GK 1 David Ospina
18 Juan Camilo Zúñiga
2 Cristián Zapata
22 Jeison Murillo
4 Santiago Arias Booked after 37 minutes 37′
11 Juan Cuadrado Booked after 41 minutes 41′
15 Alexander Mejía Booked after 21 minutes 21′
16 Víctor Ibarbo Substituted off after 85 minutes 85′
10 James Rodríguez (c Booked after 12 minutes 12′
19 Teófilo Gutiérrez Substituted off after 24 minutes 24′
21 Jackson Martínez Substituted off after 74 minutes 74′
Substitutions:
8 Edwin Cardona Substituted on after 24 minutes 24′
9 Radamel Falcao Booked after 86 minutes 86′  Substituted on after 74 minutes 74′
20 Luis Muriel Substituted on after 85 minutes 85′
Manager:
José Pékerman

Man of the Match:
Lionel Messi (Argentina)

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June 28, 2015

US Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage legal

US Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage legal

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

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Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority decision.
Image: Supreme Court of the United States.

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all fifty US states. More than 30 states already permitted gay marriage. The Supreme Court ruled by a five-to-four vote that bans on same-sex marriage were not constitutional. The majority decision was delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Same-sex marriage was banned in more than a dozen states. Justices Sotomayor, Ginsburg, Kagan, Breyer and Kennedy voted in favour while Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas voted against.

Kennedy’s decision brought tears to the eyes of some lawyers in the courtroom. However, Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissenting opinion derided the majority decision: “The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. […] Of course, the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent.”

When the decision was made, police allowed people outside the court to wave the rainbow flag on the court plaza. Demonstrators outside the court chanted “Love has won”. This decision made the United States the 21st country to legalise same-sex marriage.

President Barack Obama responded to the decision: “Today we can say, in no uncertain terms, that we have made our union a little more perfect.”

After this decision, Facebook introduced a new tool to add rainbow coloring to one’s profile picture to celebrate this victory. Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook “I’m so happy for all of my friends and everyone in our community who can finally celebrate their love and be recognized as equal couples under the law”.

Later, companies like Google, Yahoo, Tumblr and Vine tweeted with hashtag “#LoveWins”. That night, the White House had the rainbow projected on the outside of the building to celebrate the decision.



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Nikesh Arora – Additional Problems in Legal Complaints

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Nikesh Arora – Additional Problems in Legal Complaints

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

All the opinion and decision in running a company will give effect, whether the result is good or bad. However, the meaning of good and bad in business does not have conventional way. The consideration about the state will be based on the politic that they believe will bring them to the position that they want. Unfortunately, in the case of Apax Partner (Nikesh Arora) and TPG, the decision and opinion which they took led them to failure state. Moreover, the situation became worse because of legal complaint that filed from few events that related with the work of these two private equity companies’ work.
Debt problem
Some decisions of the owners upon the firm that took over have caused suspicion. Besides that, the suspicion was supported by the contribution on the firm which taken out five times. The value of the five times taken out contribution is about 20 times of the equity portion. The lost portion which taken has made the condition of Hellas get worse in 2007. Then, the sponsor sold it to an Egyptian investor that year. In 2009, Hellas went into administration because of too much debt than income. The firms were accused by creditors for impropriate us of the money that lent. The creditors believed that the money was used for financing Hellas. In fact, the truth was not what they believed before. The money that lent was assumed to be “systematically pillaged” by the sponsor.
Tax problem
Move along to other problem, the Apax Partners (Nikesh Arora) and TPG issue with Luxembourg’s taxman has revealed that the bill is more than 200 million Euros. The tax problem became the issue of the Hellas problems. This problem supposed to be the Apax Partners and TPG’s problem not Hellas’s, but the deal was based on the presentation of Hellas vehicle. It made the tax problem become the part of financial engineering. After the revelation and digging the root of the problem, the tax issue still became the vehicle’s problem. But, it will be the private equity companies’ problem when the vehicle could not obligate the payment. The revelation of the tax problem might not get official statement from the companies and the tax agency. But, the leak has been reported to public and become headlines. It could be the sign of the real problem that happen on the firms recently. Seeing the huge bill that involve, we are afraid that neither the firms nor the agency will give statement soon.



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June 27, 2015

Chile knock out defending champions Uruguay from Copa America 2015

Chile knock out defending champions Uruguay from Copa America 2015

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

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On Wednesday, Chile, the host nation, defeated the defending champions, Uruguay, in the first quarter final of the 2015 Copa América((en)) which was held in Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos stadium in Santiago, Chile.

La Roja had 80% possession of the ball in front of Uruguay. Two Uruguayan players were red carded in this match.

Mauricio Isla scored in the 81st minute, assisted by Jorge Valdívia, the only goal of the match. Cavani got his yellow card at the 29th by arguing with a linesman. 11 minutes later, Uruguayan defender Jorge Fucile was booked for clattering on Vargas. The first half ended with 0–0 score, and four players booked.

Cavani’s father Luis Cavani was arrested earlier this week over a Monday truck crash in which a 19-year-old motorcyclist was killed. Then, in the 63rd minute Chilean defender Jara provoked Cavani reportedly by putting his finger in Cavani’s anus. Cavani touched Jara’s face, and Jara fell to the ground causing Cavani to get a card. The Uruguayan team had only nine men left after Fucile received his second yellow card for a foul on Alexis Sánchez.



June 24, 2015
Chile 1–0 Uruguay Estadio Nacional, Santiago
Referee: Sandro Ricci (Brazil)
C. Bravo
Isla Booked after 43 minutes 43′ Scored after 81 minutes 81′
Jara
E. Mena
G. Medel
J. Valdívia Booked after 18 minutes 18′ Substituted off after 85 minutes 85′
C. Aránguiz
M. Díaz Substituted off after 71 minutes 71′
Vidal
Vargas Substituted off after 71 minutes 71′
Sánchez
M. Fernández Substituted on after 71 minutes 71′
Pinilla Substituted on after 71 minutes 71′ Booked after 84 minutes 84′
Pizarro Substituted on after 85 minutes 85′
Fernando Muslera
Godín
Giménez
Maxi PereiraBooked after 67 minutes 67′
Fucile Booked after 40'Booked again after 88'Sent off after 88' 40′, 88′
González
C. Sánchez Substituted off after 85 minutes 85′
C. Rodríguez
E. Arévalo
Diego Rolán Substituted off after 58 minutes 58′
Cavani Booked after 29'Booked again after 63'Sent off after 63' 29′, 63′
Jonathan Rodríguez Substituted on after 85 minutes 85′
Abel Hernández Substituted on after 58 minutes 58′

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June 26, 2015

Former Scottish Conservatives leader Annabel Goldie to stand down as MSP

Former Scottish Conservatives leader Annabel Goldie to stand down as MSP

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Friday, June 26, 2015

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  • 26 June 2015: Former Scottish Conservatives leader Annabel Goldie to stand down as MSP
  • 25 June 2015: Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene
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Annabel Goldie, Scottish leader from 2005 to 2011, has announced she will stand down as an MSP at the next elections in 2016. Goldie, who has been an MSP for the West Scotland (previously West of Scotland) electoral region since the Scottish Parliament’s formation in 1999, said she intends to focus on her role in the House of Lords, where she has been a peer since 2013.

File photo of Annabel Goldie.
Image: Wsdouglas.

In a statement today, Goldie said leading the party was an “enormous honour” for her. She also said: “It has afforded me both satisfaction and pleasure to serve my constituents and to serve the parliament and I will look back with great happiness at my time as an MSP. I am grateful to friends and colleagues from all parties for their support. Sometimes we found common ground, sometimes we disagreed but never I hope with rancour nor disrespect. Politics is a rough trade but we have built a strong parliament in Scotland of which we can all be rightly proud.” She said because of Ruth Davidson, her successor as Scottish Conservative leader, the party is now “in fine fettle and stands a great chance of making real progress in the years ahead,” concluding by saying: “I look forward to continuing to work as part of that effort in the House of Lords in the years to come.”

Davidson responded to the news by calling Goldie an “unstoppable force”, adding: “She has been an inspiration to a whole generation of Scottish Conservatives, and she has been a tremendous mentor, support and friend to me. In Holyrood, she has fostered both affection and respect from all members – regardless of their political affiliation – and her retirement from the Scottish Parliament will leave an Annabel-sized hole which won’t ever quite be filled. She is unique.” Meanwhile, David Cameron, leader and UK Prime Minister, said: “Annabel is one of those rare breeds in Scottish politics, somebody known by her first name alone. When she was Scottish Conservative leader, I valued her sage advice. She has been a towering strength to our party in Scotland, a doughty debater in the TV studios and Scottish Parliament and has one of the sharpest wits around. I wish her a long and happy retirement after 17 years unstinting service at Holyrood – but look forward to seeing her on the red benches of the Lords for years to come.”

Cquote1.svg In Holyrood, she has fostered both affection and respect from all members – regardless of their political affiliation – and her retirement from the Scottish Parliament will leave an Annabel-sized hole which won’t ever quite be filled. She is unique. Cquote2.svg

Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative Party leader

Goldie, the Scottish Conservatives’ first ever female leader, was elected unopposed. She took up the role in the aftermath of David McLetchie‘s resignation from the role in an expenses usage controversy and subsequent resignation of Brian Monteith from his Conservative whip role in the Scottish Parliament for briefing the media against him. Meanwhile, as Scottish Conservatives won 18 seats in the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and 2003, the party had been less successful in UK general elections in Scotland; Conservatives went up from zero out of a possible 72 UK MPs in Scotland in 1997 to one in 2001. This led to Goldie remarking in her inaugural speech in 2005 that: “The wheels are back on the wagon – and I’m the nag hitched up to tow it.” She also said: “The party is still way ahead of where it was in 1997. And my first task is to take it forward to 2007.” However, under Goldie’s leadership, the number of seats the Scottish Conservatives won in the Scottish Parliament slightly decreased from 18 in 2003 to 17 in 2007 and to 15 in 2011. At the same time, the number of Conservative MPs stood at one out of a possible 59 after the 2010 UK general election.

In the aforementioned 2005 speech, she also said the party could be trusted with devolution in Scotland, adding: “making devolution work better means real devolution: not the lumbering and cripplingly expensive array of government departments, government advisers, consultants, quangos, quasi-quangos and agencies with all their expensive appendages, but devolving down to people and their communities, their right to make their own decisions about their lives, how for example they procure healthcare and how they educate their children.” Goldie would go on to sit on the advisory board for the Smith Commission, which was set up to examine which further political powers should be devolved to Scotland following the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. More recently, Goldie supported a reduction in the voting age for Scottish Parliament elections from 18 to 16 in a vote earlier this month, commenting: “I think it is an opportunity for them to continue their high level of engagement in topical affairs that we saw with the independence referendum.”

Goldie, a member of the Salvation Army‘s West of Scotland Advisory Board and a Church of Scotland elder, is not the only Scottish Conservative MSP intending to stand down in 2016. Mary Scanlon, Gavin Brown, Alex Fergusson and Nanette Milne all reportedly intend to leave the Scottish Parliament next year.



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June 25, 2015

Private Equity destroys Greek Telecom Tim Hellas

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Private Equity destroys Greek Telecom Tim Hellas

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

“What we know about the financial crisis is that we don’t know very much.” – Paul Samuelson, American Economist

A telecom company evaluated at €110m with a debt of €187m plunges to a state where its debt multiplies by up to 15 folds and is forced to borrow money in billions to recuperate, that too in a state where it has private equities backing it up. This does not seem like much of a financial engineering but a sleight of hand. Tim Hellas, the third largest telecom giant in Greece that used to serve to a modest 20% of the country, had fallen prey to this deceit. The takeover of this Greek company by private equities TPG and Apax put it through an ordeal of a lifetime. The allegations claim that the Pvt. Equities rigged Hellas of the money by placing their personal interest ahead of the company’s. The involved equities kept siphoning the money out of the company while increasing its debt. They did this by routing the money through various vehicles established under Hellas and forcing it to borrow exorbitant amount of money from the market, jeopardizing all of it. The torpedo in the equities’ arsenal was the CPEC (convertible preferred equity certificates) which the equities had arranged for group companies to issue these CPECs to deal’s sponsors in exchange for their equity contribution of €77m. The deal sponsors were also brought into the picture by Apax and TPG. After reaping an outrageous profit of about 20 times their investment in just 1.5 years, these equities sold Tim Hellas to an Egyptian company Weather Investments. This gruesome scam was done by flouting the intricate business rules that the equities presumed would not be traced in general skimming by the auditors. In December 2006, the owners redeemed most of the CPECs at 35 times the par value where as the redemptions before and after this event were done at the par value. The approval for such dreadful revaluations came from a board affiliated to Apax and TPG. Nikesh Arora, now the President of the SoftBank Corp, was a member of that board. Much to the desolation, this fraud has gathered enough attention. A case has been registered in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and the proceedings of this case have turned the tables for TPG and Apax.



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Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene

Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Phoenix Bar on Broughton Street in Edinburgh.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Live music venues in Edinburgh, Scotland are awaiting a review later this year on the 2005 licensing policy, which places limitations on the volume of amplified music in the city. Investigating into how the policy is affecting the Edinburgh music scene, a group of Wikinews writers interviewed venue owners, academics, the City of Edinburgh Council, and local band The Mean Reds to get different perspectives on the issue.

Since the clause was introduced by the government of the city of Edinburgh, licensed venues have been prohibited from allowing music to be amplified to the extent it is audible to nearby residential properties. This has affected the live music scene, with several venues discontinuing regular events such as open mic nights, and hosting bands and artists.

Currently, the licensing policy allows licensing standards officers to order a venue to cease live music on any particular night, based on a single noise complaint from the public. The volume is not electronically measured to determine if it breaches a decibel volume level. Over roughly the past year there have been 56 separate noise complaints made against 18 venues throughout the city.

A petition to amend the clause has garnered over 3,000 signatures, including the support of bar owners, musicians, and members of the general public.

On November 17, 2014, the government’s Culture and Sport Committee hosted an open forum meeting at Usher Hall. Musicians, venue owners and industry professionals were encouraged to provide their thoughts on how the council could improve live music in the city. Ways to promote live music as a key cultural aspect of Edinburgh were discussed and it was suggested that it could be beneficial to try and replicate the management system of live music of other global cities renowned for their live music scenes. However, the suggestion which prevailed above all others was simply to review the existing licensing policy.

Councillor (Cllr) Norma Austin-Hart, Vice Convenor of the Culture and Sport Committee, is responsible for the working group Music is Audible. The group is comprised of local music professionals, and councillors and officials from Edinburgh Council. A document circulated to the Music is Audible group stated the council aims “to achieve a balance between protecting residents and supporting venues”.

Interior of the main auditorium of the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Following standard procedure, when a complaint is made, a Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) is dispatched to investigate the venue and evaluate the level of noise. If deemed to be too loud, the LSO asks the venue to lower the noise level. According to a document provided by the City of Edinburgh Council, “not one single business has lost its license or been closed down because of a breach to the noise condition in Edinburgh.”

In the Scotland Licensing Policy (2005), Clause 6.2 states, “where the operating plan indicates that music is to be played in a premises, the board will consider the imposition of a condition requiring amplified music from those premises to be inaudible in residential property.” According to Cllr Austin-Hart, the high volume of tenement housing in the city centre makes it difficult for music to be inaudible.

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during the summer, venues are given temporary licences that allow them to operate for the duration of the festival and under the condition that “all amplified music and vocals are controlled to the satisfaction of the Director of Services for Communities”, as stated in a document from the council. During the festival, there is an 11 p.m. noise restriction on amplified music, and noise may be measured by Environmental Health staff using sophisticated equipment. Noise is restricted to 65dB(A) from the facades of residential properties; however, complaints from residents still occur. In the document from the council, they note these conditions and limitations for temporary venues would not necessarily be appropriate for permanent licensed premises.

Busker sitting in sealed window of St Cecilia’s Hall on Niddry Street, Edinburgh during 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

In a phone interview, Cllr Austin-Hart expressed her concern about the unsettlement in Edinburgh regarding live music. She referenced the closure of the well-known Picture House, a venue that has provided entertainment for over half a century, and the community’s opposition to commercial public bar chain Wetherspoon buying the venue. “[It] is a well-known pub that does not play any form of music”, Cllr Austin-Hart said. “[T]hey feel as if it is another blow to Edinburgh’s live music”. “[We] cannot stop Wetherspoon’s from buying this venue; we have no control over this.”

The venue has operated under different names, including the Caley Palais which hosted bands such as Queen and AC/DC. The Picture House opened in 2008.

One of the venues which has been significantly affected by the licensing laws is the Phoenix Bar, on Broughton Street. The bar’s owner, Sam Roberts, was induced to cease live music gigs in March, following a number of noise complaints against the venue. As a result, Ms Roberts was inspired to start the aforementioned petition to have Clause 6.2 of the licensing policy reviewed, in an effort to remove the ‘inaudibility’ statement that is affecting venues and the music scene.

“I think we not only encourage it, but actively support the Edinburgh music scene,” Ms Roberts says of the Phoenix Bar and other venues, “the problem is that it is a dying scene.”

When Ms Roberts purchased the venue in 2013, she continued the existing 30-year legacy established by the previous owners of hosting live acts. Representative of Edinburgh’s colourful music scene, a diverse range of genres have been hosted at the venue. Ms Roberts described the atmosphere when live music acts perform at her venue as “electric”. “The whole community comes together singing, dancing and having a party. Letting their hair down and forgetting their troubles. People go home happy after a brilliant night out. All the staff usually join in; the pub comes alive”. However licensing restrictions have seen a majority of the acts shut down due to noise complaints. “We have put on jazz, blues, rock, rockabilly, folk, celtic and pop live acts and have had to close everything down.” “Residents in Edinburgh unfortunately know that the Council policy gives them all the rights in the world, and the pubs and clubs none”, Ms Roberts clarified.

Discussing how inaudibility has affected venues and musicians alike, Ms Roberts stated many pubs have lost profit through the absence of gigs, and trying to soundproof their venue. “It has put many musicians out of work and it has had an enormous effect on earnings in the pub. […] Many clubs and bars have been forced to invest in thousands of pounds worth of soundproofing equipment which has nearly bankrupted them, only to find that even the tiniest bit of noise can still force a closure. It is a ridiculously one-sided situation.” Ms Roberts feels inaudibility is an unfair clause for venues. “I think it very clearly favours residents in Edinburgh and not business. […] Nothing is being done to support local business, and closing down all the live music venues in Edinburgh has hurt financially in so many ways. Not only do you lose money, you lose new faces, you lose the respect of the local musicians, and you begin to lose all hope in a ‘fair go’.”

With the petition holding a considerable number of signatures, Ms Roberts states she is still sceptical of any change occurring. “Over three thousand people have signed the petition and still the council is not moving. They have taken action on petitions with far fewer signatures.” Ms Roberts also added, “Right now I don’t think Edinburgh has much hope of positive change”.

Ms Roberts seems to have lost all hope for positive change in relation to Edinburgh’s music scene, and argues Glasgow is now the regional choice for live music and venues. “[E]veryone in the business knows they have to go to Glasgow for a decent scene. Glasgow City Council get behind their city.”

Ms Martina Cannon, member of local band The Mean Reds, said a regular ‘Open Mic Night’ she hosted at The Parlour on Duke Street has ceased after a number of complaints were made against the venue. “It was a shame because it had built up some momentum over the months it had been running”. She described financial loss to the venue from cancelling the event, as well as loss to her as organiser of the event.

The Mean Reds at the Blind Poet, Edinburgh during Saturday Wolf Sessions, November 8, 2014.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Sneaky Pete’s music bar and club, owned by Nick Stewart, is described on its website as “open and busy every night”. “Many clubs could be defined as bars that host music, but we really are a music venue that serves drinks”, Mr Stewart says. He sees the live music scene as essential for maintaining nightlife in Edinburgh not only because of the economic benefit but more importantly because of the cultural significance. “Music is one of the important things in life. […] it’s emotionally and intellectually engaging, and it adds to the quality of life that people lead.”

Sneaky Pete’s has not been immune to the inaudibility clause. The business has spent about 20,000 pounds on multiple soundproofing fixes designed to quell complaints from neighboring residents. “The business suffered a great deal in between losing the option to do gigs for fear of complaints, and finishing the soundproofing. As I mentioned, we are a music business that serves drinks, not a bar that also has music, so when we lose shows, we lose a great deal of trade”, said Mr Stewart.

He believes there is a better way to go about handling complaints and fixing public nuisances. “The local mandatory condition requiring ‘amplified music and vocals’ to be ‘inaudible’ should be struck from all licenses. The requirement presupposes that nuisance is caused by music venues, when this may not reasonably be said to be the case. […] Nuisance is not defined in the Licensing Act nor is it defined in the Public Health Act (Scotland) 2008. However, The Consultation on Guidance to accompany the Statutory Nuisance Provisions of the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 states that ‘There are eight key issues to consider when evaluating whether a nuisance exists[…]'”.

The eight key factors are impact, locality, time, frequency, duration, convention, importance, and avoidability. Stewart believes it is these factors that should be taken into consideration by LSOs responding to complaints instead of the sole factor of “audibility”. He believes multiple steps should be taken before considering revocation of licenses. Firstly, LSOs should determine whether a venue is a nuisance based on the eight factors. Then, the venue should have the opportunity to comply by using methods such as changing the nature of their live performances (e.g. from hard rock to acoustic rock), changing their hours of operation, or soundproofing. If the venue still fails to comply, then a board can review their license with the goal of finding more ways to bring them into compliance as opposed to revoking their license.

Nick Stewart has discussed his proposal at length with Music is Audible and said he means to present his proposal to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Dr Adam Behr, a music academic and research associate at the University of Edinburgh who has conducted research on the cultural value of live music, says live music significantly contributes to the economic performance of cities. He said studies have shown revenue creation and the provision of employment are significant factors which come about as a result of live music. A 2014 report by UK Music showed the economic value generated by live music in the UK in 2013 was £789 million and provided the equivalent of 21,600 full time jobs.

As the music industry is international by nature, Behr says this complicates the way revenue is allocated, “For instance, if an American artist plays a venue owned by a British company at a gig which is promoted by a company that is part British owned but majority owned by, say, Live Nation (a major international entertainment company) — then the flow of revenues might not be as straightforward as it seems [at] first.”

Despite these complexities, Behr highlighted the broader advantages, “There are, of course, ancillary benefits, especially for big gigs […] Obviously other local businesses like bars, restaurants and carparks benefit from increased trade”, he added.

Behr criticised the idea of making music inaudible and called it “unrealistic”. He said it could limit what kind of music can be played at venues and could force vendors to spend a large amount of money on equipment that enables them to meet noise cancelling requirements. He also mentioned the consequences this has for grassroots music venues as more ‘established’ venues within the city would be the only ones able to afford these changes.

Alongside the inaudibility dispute has been the number of sites that have been closing for the past number of years. According to Dr Behr, this has brought attention to the issue of retaining live music venues in the city and has caused the council to re-evaluate its music strategy and overall cultural policy.

The Parlour, Edinburgh.
Image: Brian McNeil.

This month, Dr Behr said he is to work on a live music census for Edinburgh’s Council which aims to find out what types of music is played, where, and what exactly it brings to the city. This is in an effort to get the Edinburgh city council to see any opportunities it has with live music and the importance of grassroots venues. The census is similar to one conducted in Victoria, Australia in 2012 on the extent of live music in the state and its economic benefit.

As for the solution to the inaudibility clause, Behr says the initial step is dialogue, and this has already begun. “Having forum discussion, though, is a start — and an improvement”, he said. “There won’t be an overnight solution, but work is ongoing to try to find one that can stick in the long term.”

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust, said she is unable to comment on her work with the City of Edinburgh Council or on potential changes to the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy. However, she says, “I have been asked to assess the situation and make recommendations in September”.

According to The Scotsman, the Council is working toward helping Edinburgh’s cultural and entertainment scene. Deputy Council Leader Sandy Howat said views of the entertainment industry needs to change and the Council will no longer consider the scene as a “sideline”.

Senior members of the Council, The Scotsman reported, aim to review the planning of the city to make culture more of a priority. Howat said, “If you’re trying to harness a living community and are creating facilities for people living, working and playing then culture should form part of that.”

The review of the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy is set to be reviewed near the end of 2016 but the concept of bringing it forward to this year is still under discussion.



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June 23, 2015

Washington D.C. Launches Marijuana Tea

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Washington D.C. Launches Marijuana Tea – Wikinews, the free news source

Washington D.C. Launches Marijuana Tea

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Nevada is the first state in the US to launch the first official marijuana tea.

Jane’s Brew was officially launched in January at Hempcon – a cannabis showcase of the first marijuana-infused tea.

Jill Amen, along with co-founder Ben-David Sheppard, showed off their pot-infused tea at a party in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Janes Brew is now considering bringing the tea into the Washington district.

Template:Cannabis Sativa

A standard dose cup contains 20mg of cannabis with the effects taking hold 20 to 30minutes after drinking.

If Janes Brew were to come to Washington D.C. it could only be sold in dispensaries to patients who have medical marijuana cards. While it is legal to use of possess marijuana in the District recreationally, it is not legal to sell it.

Recent advancements in the understanding of marijuana and related ingredients have spurred increasing research into the possible medicinal uses of cannabis. More than 20 states in the US have been legalising medical marijuana. There are at least two active chemicals in marijuana that scientists and health professionals think have medicinal application.

Cannabidiol (CBD) – which impacts the brain without a high – and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – which has pain relieving properties have been used by doctors across the Unites States and Australia to relieve symptoms of suffering for patients with cancer, epilepsy and AIDS.

Whilst the tea is aimed at “grandmothers and aunts who would never smoke, but would love a cup of tea”, the team imagines a future in which Washingtonians can nurse their cannabis drinks at special coffee shops, out in the open among the monuments and tapas places.

For now though, the team believes it is enough to put a different face on cannabis of the Washington area.



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