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James Brady, former White House press secretary, gun control advocate, dies at 73
March 20, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

James Brady, former White House Press Secretary for the Ronald Reagan US presidential administration and advocate for gun control, died yesterday at age 73 in an Alexandria, Virginia retirement community. The family released a statement saying, “We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Jim ‘Bear’ Brady has passed away after a series of health issues”. Brady was a few weeks shy of his 74th birthday.

Brady was serving as President Reagan’s press secretary when he was the most seriously wounded out of four, in a assassination attempt on Reagan by John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, 1981. Brady was shot in the head by a hollow-point bullet damaging his right frontal lobe. Dr. Arthur Kobrine, a neurosurgeon, operated on Brady to save his life. Brady survived but was left with brain damage, slurred speech, short-term memory loss, and partial paralysis which required use of a wheelchair.

Following the assassination attempt, Brady and his wife Sarah joined with The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, and Handgun Control, Inc., two organizations lobbying for gun control. The organizations were later renamed in honor of Brady, as Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence respectively. The organizations lobbied for the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, a law passed in 1993 which requires federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States.

Brady never again held press conferences after the assassination attempt; nevertheless, he officially remained press secretary throughout the entire Reagan administration, till 1989. In 2000, the White House press briefing room was renamed after Brady. Josh Earnest, President Barack Obama’s current press secretary, along with eleven other former White House press secretaries said in a statement, “Jim Brady defined the role of the modern White House Press Secretary. With his passing we lost a friend and mentor, and the country lost a selfless public servant who dedicated his life to service, even in the face of tragedy. […] Jim set the model and standard for the rest of us to follow. It’s been a genuine honor for each of us to stand at the podium in the briefing room that will always bear his name.”

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Politically concerned movie Zootopia wins Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film
March 20, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

On Sunday, Disney’s Zootopia won the Oscars award for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony held at Los Angeles. Pixar’s animated short Piper won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film and Disney’s The Jungle Book won for Visual Effects.

Others competing with Zootopia in the category were Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, and Disney’s Moana. This was the first Oscar for directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore who were previously nominated for, respectively, Bolt and Wreck-It Ralph.

In the acceptance speech, director Byron Howard said, “About five years ago, almost six now, […] we got this crazy idea of talking about humanity with talking animals in the hopes that, when the film came out, it would make the world just a slightly better place.” The Disney movie addresses several social problems such as racism, sexism, prejudice, stereotyping, and fear. The New York Times said the parental guidance (PG) rated movie was “Funny, smart, thought-provoking — and musical, too.”

Before announcing the award, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal said, “As a Mexican, as a Latin-American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I’m against any form of wall that wants to separate us.” The movie was released in March, during the 2016 US presidential race.

In an interview with Variety, the directors of Zootopia said movies about bias and discrimination haven’t been Disney’s main focus, but during its production, “Things were not great in the world. […] It was more like we had our finger on something important right now and we really need to do our best to portray this as honestly as we can. Then with the election and the campaign, the real move towards governing by fear […] I don’t think we could have predicted it any closer with this film.”

With this win, the Walt Disney Company has won nine out of ten Best Animated Feature Film Oscars in the last decade, with Pixar Animation Studio winning six out of them. Zootopia also won Best Animated Film at the Annie Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.

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Oil spill hits Australia’s Sunshine coastline
March 20, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

200,000 litres of oil leaked into waters off the coast of Brisbane from the Pacific Adventurer when their fuel tanks were damaged in rough seas on Wednesday. The figure is about ten times higher than the original estimate of twenty thousand litres of oil. The devastating diesel oil spill has spread along 60 kilometres (37 miles) of the Queensland coast. In addition, 31 containers with 620 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser flew overboard during the violent storm.

Questions are being asked why the Hong Kong cargo ship was out in seas with nine meter waves caused by Cyclone Hamish, a Category 5 tropical cyclone, as well as why the fertiliser containers were not properly secured. One of the overboard containers ruptured the hull of the Pacific Adventurer, causing between 30 to 100 tonnes of oil to spew from the severely damaged ship.

If the ammonium nitrate mixes with the heavy oil, an explosion could occur. None of the containers have been recovered. Some of these may float, but it is believed that they may have sunk which then may cause algal blooms.

Disaster zones have been declared at Bribie and Moreton Islands, and along the Sunshine coast.

The vessel’s owner, Swire Shipping, reported that a second leak began on Friday, when the ship began listing after docking at Hamilton for repairs. “As full soundings of the vessel’s tanks were being taken at the port to determine how much oil had leaked from the vessel, a small quantity of fuel oil escaped from the Pacific Adventurer,” it stated. The ship was brought upright, and a recovery vessel was used to suck up the oil from the water. The leak produced a 500m-long oil slick down the Brisbane River. Booms were placed around this oil spill so that a skimmer could clean up the second spill.

Swire Shipping could face clean up costs of AU$100,000 a day as well as fines up to AU$1.5million (US$977,000; £703,000) if found guilty of environmental breaches or negligence.

Sunshine Coast beaches are slowly starting to be reopened. The beach of Mooloolaba was still closed following reports of burning sensations from swimmers. 12 beaches remain closed; however, 13 have been reopened.

Over 300 state government and council workers are using buckets, rakes and spades in the clean up effort. Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbott says the majority will be gone by Sunday afternoon. The full environmental impact on wildlife is not yet known. One turtle and seven pelicans have been found covered in oil.

There are concerns that the drinking water of Moreton Island is at risk, as the island uses water from the underground water table near the oil spill site.

“Every bucketload of contaminated sand has to be removed from the island by barge, and each bucketload from a front-end loader weighs about one tonne. It’s just an impossible task,” said Mr Trevor Hassard of the Tangalooma Dolphin Education Centre.

The commercial fishing industry has suffered from the incident. Trawlers won’t resume operations until Sunday evening, and any catches will be tested for human consumption.

Australian murder victims killed in different ways

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Australian murder victims killed in different ways
March 19, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

69-year-old grandfather John Walsh stands accused of murdering three victims in the small New South Wales town of Cowra. All victims were killed in different ways.

Media organisations have reported that the 69-year-old man killed his five year old grand daughter by drowning; her seven year old brother was killed by a blunt force trauma to the back of the head, and his wife was killed by multiple axe wounds to her body – including her head.

New South Wales Police could not confirm the post-mortem examination, saying that the results of the post-mortem examination are not expected to be finalised for a couple of days and may not be immediately made public.

The 69-year-old man, who went before Deniliquin Local Court on July 1, 2008, was refused bail and charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He is currently in a special holding cell on 24-hour watch at the Junee Correctional Centre. A further appearance is due in Wagga Wagga Local Court via an audio-visual link on July 7, 2008.

17 million accounts’ hashed passwords, emails stolen, Zomato says

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17 million accounts’ hashed passwords, emails stolen, Zomato says
March 19, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Yesterday, Zomato, a food ordering and restaurant finding company, announced security breach of more than 17 million accounts, via their official blog. A hacker operating under the alias nclay uploaded evidence to prove they had the stolen data — hashed passwords and emails — for sale, Hackread.com reported. Zomato later announced they contacted the hacker, who asked Zomato to organise a bug bounty programme.

The food ordering company, with 120 million monthly users, said the payment information of the users was not located with this data and was not leaked. Zomato said it uses PCI Data Security Standards.

As a security measure, all the passwords of the involved Zomato accounts were reset and all of the accounts were forcibly logged out from the application and website. The company said only hashed passwords were compromised.

Hashed passwords are encrypted and, per Zomato, every password had a different “salt”, for cryptographic salting was performed before hashing the original password. A “salt” is a random set of characters added before encryption to make decryption to obtain the original passkey more difficult.

The hashed password itself can not be used to access the account. In the blog post before contacting the hacker, saying “internal (human) security breach”, Zomato suggested this could have happened after a worker’s development account was hijacked. After contacting the hacker, and promising a bug bounty programme on Hackerone, they said, the hacker agreed and removed the stolen data which was put on sale on the dark web. Zomato said they are looking forward to working closely with the ethical hacker community on security vulnerabilities.

Puppies used to smuggle heroin

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Puppies used to smuggle heroin
March 19, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Ten puppies with bags of liquid heroin surgically implanted into their bellies were having seizures in a drug bust in Medellin, Colombia, said authorities.

“They utilized a wide range of smuggling, the most repulsive of which was the use of puppies,” said John P. Gilbride, head of the DEA’s New York office.

“There have been cases of animal cruelty that have led to the discovery of drug labs, but not to the extent of an animal being used to carry drugs, especially a puppy,” said ASPCA spokeswoman Jo Sullivan.

Investigators believe that the dogs were used to smuggle heroin into New York on commercial flights. The drugs were then to be distributed and sold along the East Coast.

“Ten puppies, including Labrador retrievers, were rescued during a 2005 raid on a farm in Colombia,” said the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on Wednesday. The Agency also announced that they had made more than 30 arrests.

Authorities believe that a veterinarian, Andres Lopez Elorez (who is also believed to be a fugitive in Spain), opened the bellies of at least six of the ten puppies, inserted 500 mL bags of liquid heroin, and then stitched them back up. Three puppies had died due to infections after the drugs were removed. A total of 3 kg of heroin were recovered from six puppies. The bags were found using ultrasound.

“The surviving dogs are still alive and well, we’re told,” said Gilbride. “I think it’s outrageous and heinous that they’d use small, innocent puppies in this way. This investigation identified the individuals who were responsible for overseeing and smuggling millions of dollars worth of heroin from Colombia to the East Coast.”

The investigation revealed that the smugglers, whose ring was based in Medellin, not only used people and puppies to conceal their drugs, but also body creams, aerosol cans, and the linings of purses and luggage.

A tipster is said to have led authorities to the puppies.

It is not known how many puppies were actually used in the smuggling operation.

Three dogs were adopted by Colombian police. At least one of those puppies will be trained to sniff for drugs.

About 24 kilograms of heroin was seized in recent raids in Colombia which have resulted in more than 20 arrests and another ten in custody in New York. A total of at least 24 kilograms have been seized in these raids.

Great Plumbing In Westchester County

March 18, 2019 · Pipes · (No comments)

byAlma Abell

Cassidy Plumbing provides a full range of Plumber Westchester County services. Some of the most common include installations, drain cleaning, and leak detection. Fully licensed professionals should be your only consideration to perform this important work on your home. You depend on your plumbing every day to do many essential tasks, so it makes sense to take care of it in the best manner possible.

Plumbers take care when they enter your home. They know that you want to keep it clean, so they take care to make sure that no mud or other debris is on their boots when they enter. After the work is done, the sit cleaned up to look like it did before the plumber arrived. Repairs can be disruptive, but professional plumbers try to make it as minimal as possible.

When you need a plumber in Westchester County NY, its best work with those that are communicative. They are interested in hearing what you need, and are more than glad to answer any questions that you may have. This could be about the technical aspects of the job or about billing. You should never feel uncomfortable when talking with a plumber.

Plumbers are available at all hours, because emergencies can happen at any time. IF you have leak, it can very worrying due to the potential for extensive damage. While you wait for help, try to turn off the water supply to a home. The plumber will do everything possible to repair a leak, and may even help to minimize the damage from water flow. If you manage to fix the leak temporarily, you still need to have a plumber make a permanent repair. The potential for the leak to come back is great, and it may be worse next time.

If your drains are clogged, don’t use chemicals in the system. Call a plumber to do the job right, Chemicals may damage your pipes and this will cost a lot more money than just hiring the professional to clean the drain. A drain needs to be protected from clogs, so afterwards, don’t toss grease down the kitchen sink. Be sure to minimize any paper that is introduced into the system as well. Click here for more details.

New Jersey backpedals on proposed bikini waxing ban

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New Jersey backpedals on proposed bikini waxing ban
March 18, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Jersey has reversed its plans for a state-wide ban on bikini waxing after salon owners from across the state spoke out against the proposal.

The New Jersey Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling planned to consider a ban on so-called “Brazilian waxes” in response to two women who reported being injured during a wax.

But state Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman, who oversees the board, asked them to abandon the ban in favor of reviewing and establishing safeguards for those who provide the service.

“Many commentators have noted that the procedure could be safely performed,” Szuchman wrote in a letter to state board President Ronald Jerome Brown, according to the Asbury Park Press. “I, therefore, believe that there are alternative means to address any public health issues identified by the board.

Salon owners from across the state expressed relief with Szuchman’s decision.

“It was an unnecessary issue,” spa owner Linda Orsuto told the Associated Press. “In New Jersey especially, where the government has been picking our pockets for so long, it was like, ‘Just stay out of our pants, will you?'”

Although millions of Americans get bikini waxes, which generally cost between $50 and $60 per session, the practice comes with risks. Skin care experts say the hot wax can irritate delicate skin in the bikini area, and result in infections, ingrown hairs and rashes.

Waxing on the face, neck, abdomen, legs and arms are permitted in New Jersey. Although state statutes have always banned bikini waxing, the laws are seldom enforced because the wording is unclear.

If the measure had passed, New Jersey might have become the only US state to ban the practice outright.

Although Szuchman’s letter was crafted more as a recommendation than an order, media reports said the ban would likely never be approved without his support because his office oversees the board.

News briefs:June 30, 2006

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News briefs:June 30, 2006
March 17, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

The time is 20:00 (UTC) on June 30th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Interior Ministry, Fatah offices in Gaza hit by Israeli airstrikes
    • 1.2 Palestinian PM: Israel aims to topple gov’t
    • 1.3 Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Freitas do Amaral resigns
    • 1.4 French Parliament adopts controversial copyright bill
    • 1.5 Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney
    • 1.6 Amsterdam to open a “Chocolate Factory”
    • 1.7 Australian shot in Thailand
    • 1.8 Germany master penalties to beat Argentina to semi-final spot
    • 1.9 Ullrich and Sevilla suspended from Tour de France
  • 2 Closing statements

[edit]

Flickr launches video-sharing service

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Flickr launches video-sharing service
March 17, 2019 · Uncategorized · (No comments)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Flickr, the online photo sharing service owned by American internet company Yahoo!, today launched a new video-sharing service for “Pro” users. After 4 months of waiting since an unofficial “coming soon” on the Flickr forums, subscribers to the service are now able to upload videos of up to 90 seconds in length, or 150 MB in size.

After some criticism over the website diversifying too much, Flickr Community Manager Heather Champ, and Yahoo! spokesperson George Hadjigeorgiou responded by calling these 90-second videos “long photos”, which capture a “slice of life to share”.

Mr. Hadjigeorgiou elaborated, by saying that “digital media has led to new behaviour with digital photography fans and we’ve seen a huge growth in people taking short video clips, essentially ‘long photos’, with their digital still cameras and mobile phones.” He added that he could see “a great resonance between this new category of content and with the kind of authentic, personal moments already being shared on Flickr.”

“Pro” users, who pay a yearly subscription of US$24.95 for unlimited file uploads, have also had their filesize limit increased to 20 MB for each individual photo, and other members, who do not pay a subscription, have had their limit raised to 10 MB per photo. “Free” members are currently unable to upload videos.