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Mumbai officials demolish 39K shanties; 200K homeless

December 25, 2004

Officials in Mumbai, India, demolished over 6,000 shanties today in a push to eradicate the capital city’s slums. In total, 39,000 shanties have been flattened, displacing over 200,000 people, in the city’s biggest-ever demolition drive, which began in early December.

When complete, over 2 million people are expected to be displaced. After wiping out the least desirable shanties, next in line for demolition are the illegal ‘well-off’ shanties and neighborhoods, according to the legal and bureaucratic motions that have been executed toward cleaning up Mumbai’s appearance by lowering the dominance of shanties, which make up 62 percent of Mumbai’s housing.

“As far as eye can see, there are mounds of wood, tin and tarpaulin, the remains of 6,200 illegal homes, flattened by a heavy excavator running on tank-like tracks and giant motorised claws,” the Indian Express reported about today’s destruction. [1]

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that citizens would see a change within six months. “Every chief minister likes to be remembered, and I’m no exception,” said Deshmukh, who despite having an empty exchequer, also announced that Rs 31,000 crore will be spent on new roads, sea links and rail lines. [2]

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News briefs:August 20, 2006

The time is 18:00 (UTC) on August 20th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

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OCTranspo’s “new year” of efficiencies?

Monday, January 2, 2006

Anyone riding the OC Transpo Ottawa municipal bus service’s express bus routes this morning and this afternoon, in the Ottawa area, was probably greeted with an empty bus, and inherently, a “fast and efficient” ride. This is in part because most government workers where off from work still celebrating their Christmas holidays and buses were operating on a “holiday schedule;” a lack of planning on behalf of OC Transpo.

Though, according to OC Transpo, the “Holiday Schedule” means buses this week shall be running a little less often, in reality there isn’t that much difference than the regular schedule. To be more precise, from 05h48 until 07h20, on the express 27 route there will be 5 less buses during the “Holiday Schedule” compared to the “Regular Schedule.”

“This is probably going to be fine for the rest of this week, when government employees start coming back to work”, said Yves Roy, an OC Transpo driver, “but today was a holiday and it appears that express routes only had an average of about 2 to 4 passengers.”

“On my ride in to work, at around 6:10 a.m. this morning, nobody else got on the bus. It was like having a personal stretch limo to myself,” said Patrick Roy, a guard for the commissionaires.

Also, at around 4:15 p.m. another OC Transpo bus driver, whom wished to remain anonymous, stated, “You are the first person I picked up today.” He had been working since the morning doing express runs. He then added, “This is a waste of tax payers money.”

Ottawa’s BRT “Transitway,” has indicated that it cost approximately 42.58$ CAN per hour to run a diesel bus. It is estimated that 729 express buses ran today for approximatelly 7 hours costing approximatelly 217,287$ CAN. The cost of operating OC Transpo is split between transit fares collected and the tax base (mostly municipal, with some federal and provincial contributions.)

“We then continued to talk about waste of fuel, employee pay, insurance liability issues and even went into details about such hot political items as the Kyoto Agreement and conservatism,” said Patrick. “Once the driver reached Place d’Orleans the second passenger joined in the conversation. The driver then took a faster alternate route and dropped us off not far from our homes.”

According to Peter Dickson, editor at The Ottawa Citizen, last year OC Transpo buses followed a ‘reduced’ Sunday schedule and this created havoc on the system. Peter asked, if “perhaps this year they where trying to compensate for this inefficiency?”

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), OC Transpo’s union representative has indicated, “At current fleet levels, Ottawa’s roads would be choked with about 40,000 more cars each rush hour if not for OC Transpo.”[1] ATU suggests 70 per cent of trips in Ottawa are now made by car. However, seemingly, due to returning vacationers and other reasons, today may have created an increase in the use of cars and influenced this statistic. According to city councillor Clive Doucet’s web page “Currently, 17% of all trips residents make in Ottawa are on public transit, up from 15% in the mid-nineties. As a comparison, Paris’ modal split is 40% or higher taking public transit while Los Angeles’ modal split is around 2% for public transit.” Analysing ridership on a large scale seems to be an important element for the city.

According to Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli, “We used to be able to plan a transit system for up to 12 years ahead, with assured funding.” This of course is in reference to provincial government funding.”It would make me happier if we took all of the (fuel taxes) and put them into the transportation infrastructure,” Mr. Hunt, president of the Canadian Automobile Association says. “But we don’t have a plan.”

“Usually OC Transpo bus drivers have two 4 months bookings, for the fall and the winter and two 2 months booking for the spring and for the summer,” said Yves Roy. “For the first time in March 2005, there was a special 1 week booking for the March break that rearranged and redistributed drivers of certain high school bus runs. During previous march breaks, drivers would show up usually waiting 30 or more minutes in an “idling” bus.”

Is there such thing as to much efficiency? Today is an example of buses and drivers being very efficient. On the other hand, it may be a lack of efficiency within OC Transpo’s booking department, upper management and the governments.

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Getting Rid Of Heartburn

By Steven A Johnson

Heartburn, also known as pyrosis or acid reflux, can happen to anybody. While it ranges from the occasional incident to a chronic condition, at least 20 % of Americans suffer from it once a week. That is almost 20 million people in the USA. Gender and age usually do not matter, it can affect any one.

As misleading as the name might be, heartburn has nothing to with the actual human heart. In a case of heartburn the hydrochloric stomach acid finds its way back up to the esophagus, because of malfunction of the lower cardiac sphincter valve. This process leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth and throat, often leaving a feeling of raw, sore throat. This feeling sometimes only lasts a couple of minutes, other times it can stay for a few hours.

The reasons for heartburn can range from eating the ‘wrong’ foods, to medications, obesity and stress. In some cases heartburn is linked to gastroesophageal reflux disease. Figuring out what triggers your heartburn can help you prevent it. Smoking and alcohol also are amongst heart burn triggers. Often times pregnant women will suffer from heartburn.

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In order to find relief from heart burn several methods can be tried. The treatment ranges from medications, a special diet, to alternative treatment. Often times changing one’s diet slightly offers quick relief. Avoiding acidy foods, like tomatoes, and foods high in fatty acids, like pizza or chili, helps prevent heartburn. For a severe case of heartburn usually medical treatment is sought, with prescriptions from a doctor. Sometimes surgery of the esophagus is sought after by some patients.

In milder cases often times alternative treatments are the answer. For example you can try sleeping with your head elevated at an angle, so it rises slightly above the feet and thus preventing the stomach acid from coming up. Some other prevention tips include not going to bed on a full stomach, not over eating and eating slowly. If you are overweight loosing weight usually relieves symptoms as well.

Prescription anti-acids often have unpleasant side affects if they are taken for an extensive amount of time. Anti-acids neutralize the acid in your stomach, which are actually healthy and needed for a normal digestive function. Thus diarrhea and constipation are the leading side affects for anti-acids.

Refluxamine was especially formulated to treat heartburn. It provides natural relief from occasional heartburn, indigestions, as well as sour, aching or upset stomachs. Refluxamine achieves all this by keeping your digestive system healthy. Instead of trying to reduce your stomach acid, which is actually healthy and good for your body, Refluxamine helps support the healthy function of stomach acid, making it a healthy alternative to other artificial medications against heartburn.

Results with Refluxamine vary but usually appear within five days of taking the supplement. The best part is that there are no side affects with this product. Refluxamine’s unique combination of vitamins, minerals and herbs has been scientifically proven for its health qualities and results. If you follow some of this advice you should find relief from your heartburn.

About the Author: Steven Johnson is interested in maintaining a vital and healthy lifestyle. For more information on various health products and other life-enhancing nutrients please visit his website Alternative Health Supplements.

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=342687&ca=Wellness%2C+Fitness+and+Diet

Details emerge on fatal stabbing at Belgian day care centre

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Prosecutor Christian Du Four has released more details on the fatal stabbing in a day care center in East Flanders, Belgium, yesterday, in which two children (six and nine months old) and one employee were killed. Ten children and two adults were injured.

The alleged perpetrator, a 20-year-old man from nearby Sint-Niklaas, was arrested in the neighbouring municipality of Lebbeke shortly after the crime. Belgian news website nieuwsblad.be have named the arrested man as Kim De Gelder.

The attacker wore a bullet-proof vest under his clothes and a backpack containing a knife, an axe and a fake pistol. Two other knives were found near the crime scene.

The prosecutor confirmed that the man’s face was painted white with blackened eyes as he committed the crime, which led international media to make comparisons to the Joker, the villain from the Batman series.

“I have a question,” the killer told the first employee he encountered, after which he immediately stabbed her, and started his rampage. One female day care worker attempted to disarm the killer while others locked the doors. The killer stabbed employees trying to carry children to safety.

The arrested man is not cooperating with the investigation and has not confessed. The prosecutor described his attitude as “passive”. “He says nothing to his questioners. He is absolutely uncooperative,” the prosecutor explained. Yesterday, media reported that the killer was laughing at the officers who were questioning him, but the prosecutor today denied these speculations.

According to the crime scene investigation, the man entered the building through an unlocked side-entrance which gave immediate access to the room with the babies. He stabbed several of them, then went to another room where he stabbed other children. He then fled on the bicycle on which he had arrived.

Panic struck in Dendermonde amidst fears that the man would attack more crèches or schools. There were reports that the killer carried a note with names and addresses of other day care centres or schools nearby, something which the prosecutor could not comment on. The Associated Press says three judicial officials anonymously confirmed that the attacker carried addresses of three other nurseries. Following news of the stabbings, all schools in Dendermonde were ordered to keep all gates shut.

Eyewitness Hans Staelens told reporters that he had noticed a suspicious character in the street where the day care centre ‘Fable Land’ was located. He described him as “not too tall, thin, red hair, dark eyes, like make-up”.

The alleged killer lived alone and was unemployed, but does not have a criminal record. “There is no element whatsoever that makes us believe he has a psychiatric history,” the prosecutor told the press at a conference today. He has commissioned three psychiatrists to examine the man. Kim D. was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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One child and one woman died in the day care centre itself, with another child dying in hospital. All injured are reported to be in stable condition. Three children and one adult remain in intensive care. Five others also remain hospitalised, although several are expected to be discharged at some point during the weekend.

54-year-old Marita Blindeman, who was killed in the attack, worked in the day care centre, which was sponsored by social services, since she was 18. Since the death of her father, she lived with, and took care of, both her mother and her sister, who has a learning disability. Just two years ago, she started having a relationship with a man, according to her son in a letter to newspapers.

Only six of the 18 children in the crèche, all under the age of three, were uninjured. Meanwhile, the decision has been taken not to reopen the day care centre, but to provide day care in other facilities. Six employees were present during the attack.

Friday evening, the Belgian crown prince and his wife visited the crime scene. The couple, who have four children, were moved deeply by the killings.

Some hundred people have signed a mourning registry in Dendermonde’s city hall, and flowers and teddy bears were left at the day care centre. A silent demonstration is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon and a mourning ceremony will be held on Monday evening.

Several media outlets have discussed the safety of day care centres. Minister Veerle Heeren said she would consider additional safety measures if the investigation suggests it, but also added that, “a day care centre should be a haven, not a prison.”

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Controversial U.S. abortion doctor shot dead in Kansas church

Sunday, May 31, 2009

George Tiller, a controversial doctor who performed late-term abortions, has been shot dead in a church in Kansas, United States. A man is in custody over the killing.

67-year-old Tiller had been the target of many previous attacks. In 1986 his clinic was seriously damaged in a bombing and in 1993 he was shot in both arms. In 1991 his clinic saw summer-long protests that resulted in 2,000 arrests and he said that in 1994 he was put under police protection after FBI agents uncovered an anti-abortion ‘hit list’ naming him as a top target. The clinic was vandalized earlier this month.

The controversy stemmed from the fact that his clinic is one of just three in the United States that performed late-term abortions, which are abortions of fetuses which are capable of surviving outside of the womb. This is legal in Kansas so long as two doctors agree the mother is in serious danger if she were to give birth.

Tiller was recently tried on charges of performing nineteen illegal abortions in 2003; he was cleared of any wrongdoing at the end of a trial described by his lawyer as a ‘witch-hunt’. It was alleged that there were irregularities and a financial involvement in his relationship with the doctor who gave second opinions in the abortions.

Another controversy was sparked by donations Tiller made to support Kathleen Sebelius, then governor of Kansas. The donations, coupled with Sebelius’ abortion-rights views, caused anti-abortion groups to oppose her nomination as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, but the Senate confirmed her in a 65 to 31 vote in April.

Tiller was killed at 10 a.m. local time in the Reformation Lutheran in Wichita. A white man was witnessed with a handgun killing the doctor before fleeing in a blue Ford Taurus. The vehicle’s number plate was traced to Kansas City, 200 miles from Wichita.

State police and the FBI were involved in the hunt for the gunman. A suspect is now in custody.

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Woman returns home with Christmas turkey, a month after setting out

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Scottish woman who set out before Christmas to purchase a turkey finally made it home on Monday, after being cut off by snow for a month. Kay Ure left the Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on Cape Wrath, at the very northwest tip of Great Britain, in December. She was heading to Inverness on a shopping trip.

However on her return journey heavy snow and ice prevented her husband, John, from travelling the last 11 miles to pick her up. She was forced to wait a month in a friend’s caravan, before the weather improved and the couple could finally be reunited.

They were separated not just for Christmas and New Year, but also for Mr Ure’s 58th birthday. With no fresh supplies, he was reduced to celebrating with a tin of baked beans. He also ran out of coal, and had to feed the couple’s six springer spaniels on emergency army rations.

“It’s the first time we’ve been separated”, said Mr Ure in December. “We’ve been snowed in here for three weeks before, so we are well used to it and it’s quite nice to get a bit of peace and quiet.”

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Important Aspects Of Network Maintenance

byAlma Abell

When it comes to network maintenance, there are a variety of different things you can do. Although the most important would be to hire an IT company to handle this, there are a few things you should know first. As a business owner, or even an individual who uses their computer and home network a lot, it is important that you learn to get rid of old technology, organize your systems, and make sure that they are secure and maintained.

The Real World

It may be that your server room is just a small closet, or even a shelf in a closet, although you could have a larger server room. Whatever the case may be, it’s likely that your network maintenance has been lacking, and your wires are crossed, tangled, unlabeled, and just a down-right disaster. This may be something that you or another employee set up themselves, which is actually very unfortunate. This type of system lacks an adherence to implementation, documentation and design standards that have been set forth by the IT industry. Fortunately, there are a few things you, or preferably an IT company, can do to remedy the situation.

Organizing and Labeling

The first step in network maintenance is organizing and labeling. You want to make sure that your network is completely mapped out and organized. Once you complete this process, you can go ahead and label each cable. You or an IT tech should start at the top with your router or modem, and work their way down through the entire network. It is a good idea to document what you have, making sure that everything is accounted for. If there is equipment or wires not in use, because they have been replaced by something new, make sure that you remove it. This will help decrease the clutter in your server room or area. During the documenting process, be sure to label all of your equipment, and make sure that it’s documented as well. Your equipment includes printers, computers, external drives, switches and hubs, and routers. Also, make sure to document the software that is running on your network, so you know what to look for in the monitoring process, and are able to know what needs updated.

Monitoring

The next step in network maintenance is monitoring your software. You can actually purchase software that will monitor your network for you. Because there are so many different types, varieties, and options available, this is definitely where you would want to hire a competent IT company. They have the skills and expertise needed to handle your network maintenance and monitoring.

State of emergency declared in New York over H1N1 swine flu virus

Thursday, October 29, 2009

According to US health officials, New York state governor David Paterson has declared a state of emergency in the state as a result of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.

The Associated Press news agency reports that the six-page declaration was issued because at least 75 people have died of H1N1 related illnesses in New York since April. Three have died from H1N1 related illnesses just this past week. The declaration also says that human cases of the virus are on the rise.

Paterson says he issued the declaration because “a disaster has occurred throughout New York State, for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately.”

The declaration will allow health officials more access to the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu shot. It will also allow for an increase in the number of vaccine doses available in the state and will allow more health care facilities to administer the vaccine, including dentists and pharmacists. Schools with health centers will also be allowed to administer both vaccines.

Despite the declaration, officials stressed that there is no reason to worry. A spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Health, Claire Pospisil, said that “it [the declaration] helps us to be more prepared.”

The order came shortly after US president Barack Obama declared a national emergency last Saturday, a response to the spreading of the virus, which has now been circulated in 46 states.

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News briefs:May 26, 2010

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