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Alternative to controversial hotel proposed to Buffalo, N.Y. business owners and residents

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Buffalo, New York —

Residents and business owners in the Elmwood Avenue neighborhood and surrounding area in Buffalo heard a competing proposal for development in their neighborhood at the February 22 meeting held at the Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery, at Buffalo State College. The meeting, attended by at least 140, was originally to consider the Elmwood Village Hotel but also included a new revitalization proposal from Rocco Termini which would increase retail space, but involves less demolition and no hotel.

Rocco Termini, a Buffalo, New York developer wants to develop the corner of Elmwood and Forest, the same spot where Savarino Construction Services Corporation want to build the Elmwood Village Hotel.

Termini proposed that a similar revitalization take place on the intersection like one that incorporated 3 buildings on Aurburn and Elmwood just last year. Termini’s proposal will add more retail space than Savarino’s proposal with the possibility of including up to seven retail outlets.

“I just think it’s necessary to preserve the streetscape that we have. That’s the whole point of living and shopping on Elmwood,” said Termini. “You should be able to go into little shops, that have unique items, and that bring people to Elmwood. When you bring a big box on Elmwood Avenue, it takes something away from the urban-streetscape, just as suburban areas do not want a big box Wal-Mart. We don’t want a big box on Elmwood avenue and I think that’s just what this (the hotel) does, brings a big box to Elmwood,” said Termini.

When asked if there were any development companies currently interested in his proposal Termini said, “I will be willing to take a look at this myself,” said Termini. “Or I would be more than happy to be partners with Sam, Sam Savarino,” who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Savarino Construction Services Corp.

An unnamed source close to the project stated, “Rocco has serious concerns that the Mobius’s asking price could make his project infeasible.”

It is unknown if Savarino Construction or the city of Buffalo will consider Termini’s proposal.

Termini purchased and developed several buildings and areas including the Ellicott Lofts on Ellicott Street in Buffalo, which opened in 2003, The Oak School Lofts which used to be a Buffalo Alternative School, and ‘IS’ Lofts on Oak Street in Buffalo.

Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction, and Karl Frizlen an architect from The Frizlen Group and designer of the hotel commented on the development proposal. Hassett said, “We’ve been thinking about it and trying to put it together for the last few months, and it was made public a couple of weeks ago.”

“There are lots of different areas you can look at. This is an Elmwood Avenue hotel. Putting it somewhere else makes a completely different kind of hotel. We wanted a hotel that people could walk to from the business on Elmwood. We wanted a hotel that people could walk to from the Albright Knox Art Gallery. This is really a location for this kind of hotel. Other locations end up being for other kinds of hotels,” said Hassett

“We are excited about the concept of a boutique hotel at this corner. We think it makes sense to the various businesses in the area or the galleries just down the street. We also believe that this is a way for the visitors of Buffalo to experience what the best of what Buffalo has to offer. We think it will be a great way for people from out of town, to get to know what we know about the city,” said Hassett.

Although Hassett had said that the proposal has only been around “for a few months”, Karl Frizlen said that he came up with the idea “three years ago when Hans Mobius,” former owner of the properties at risk, “came to me and asked what we could do with these properties.” Frizlen also said that he introduced Mobius to “four different developers, who after seeing the properties, did not want to tackle them, saying that they felt like it was too much for them to take on.”

Hans Mobius did not attend last nights meeting.

Frizlen is also designing the former telephone company building at 504 Elmwood which would be a “mixed use building with retail on the lowest level and lofts on the other two floors.”

After speeches from developers, residents and business owners were invited to present questions and comments.

Mark Freelend, a Buffalo resident, and local artist, said “I’m looking at my house in the picture, and I’m picturing all the houses on Granger street behind me, and I’m realizing that, if this is implemented (the hotel), we will get zero sunlight. The Sun is supposed to be free, for everyone. The people on Granger are going to have eighty windows looking at them and their children being raised, and playing in the backyard, guests looking in the windows of their houses twenty-four hours a day. A million people starring into their houses. No sunlight, and they are on permanent reality TV. Put a price on that!”

“I think this hotel is totally out of scale to the area and it does not conform to the style (of Elmwood) at all. It will totally obscure the gateway of Elmwood. The gateway now has open arms that allow for passage and view into the commercial corridor. This hotel stands as a brick wall as far as I can tell,” said Nancy Pollina one of the owners of Don Apparel at 1119 Elmwood. Pollina referenced to the recent ‘revitalization’ project on Auburn and Elmwood saying, “That building was boarded up for years, and that was beautiful a renovation. That building was not in any less need of repair than Hans Mobius’s properties.”

Both residents and business owners in the area are concerned that the proposal is moving too quickly and said that the developers should wait before having any city meetings and wait for a consensus from the community on the hotel.

Mrs. Pollina said, “I think people feel passionate about their neighborhood, and this is their neighborhood. I feel that what was most shocking is that the city’s planning board meeting and Common Council meeting, which are they need to push this through, is next week without almost no notice. This (the proposal) is being rushed.

However; Sam Savarino did say that “some people have gotten emotional about this project. And I want to let the community know that we will listen to what you have to say. We’re not forcing this down anybody’s throat. If this is not something this community wants, we do not want to have it here.”

The city’s Planning Board is expected to meet on February 28, 2006 at 8:00am in room 901 on the 9th floor of City Hall. The city’s Legislative Committee meeting of Common Council is expected to take place on the same day at 2:00pm in Council Chambers on the 13th floor of City Hall.

It has just been confirmed from an unnamed source close to the project that “significant changes” will be made to the design of the Elmwood Village Hotel. “Its not being cancelled, just redesigned,” he said. The changes are not yet known, but they are could be released “tomorrow. He (Savarino) doesn’t want it released until he touches base with a few people today.”

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Leonard Skinner, namesake of rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, dies at age 77

Monday, September 20, 2010

Leonard Skinner, the namesake of rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, has died at the age of 77. Skinner was a gym teacher and basketball coach and taught members of the group. His death was announced by his son, also named Leonard Skinner, who also said that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Skinner died at the St. Catherine Laboure Manor nursing home in Riverside at 02.30 a.m. His son said that he had a bowl of ice cream shortly after midnight. He had been at the home for about a year.

The coach taught the members of the group in the 1960s and was reportedly hard on the students. He later said in a 2009 interview that “he was just following the rules”. He disputed the rumours that he was extra tough on them or that he kicked them out of school.

In later years he opened up his own bar and became friends with some members of the group and even introduced them at one of their concerts in Jacksonville.

PostHeaderIcon Plumbing Guidelines For Your Toilet

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byalex

The ultimate dread of the home owner is the clogged toilet. For those of us with only one toilet, its break down would spell doom to the whole family. Although toilets are sturdy and reliable fixtures in your plumbing system, most home owners or apartment-dwellers have faced or will face the occasional clogging emergencies. Most of the common problems can be addressed by DIY work. With a little know how you can take care of minor repairs. Some of the common difficulties faced with a household toilet are:

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1 . Water runs constantly into the tank: this may occur due to several reasons:

  • Float ball or rod is misaligned. To rectify this all you have to do is bend the float rod carefully so that the ball does not rub against the side of the tank
  • Float ball contains water. Change the ball or empty it.
  • Tank ball is not sealing at the bottom of the tank. This can be corrected by removing corrosion from the lip of the valve or replacing the tank ball if it is too worn out.
  • Ball cock valve does not shut off the water. If the problem is not corrected by replacing washers you may have to replace the entire assembly.

2 . Toilet does not flush properly or insufficiently. Reasons for this may be:

  • Drain may be clogged. Check the plumbing for blockages.
  • Not enough water in the tank. The problem can be corrected by bending the float rod up gently.
  • Tank ball falls back before adequate water leaves the tank, moving up the guide might rectify the problem
  • Leak at the point where tank joins the toilet bowl that can be righted by tightening nuts or replacing spud washers if required.
  • Ports around the rim of the bowl are clogged. Reaming out the residue from the ports would help solve the glitch.

3 . Tank whines and makes strange noises while filling. The common reasons for this may be:

  • Ball cock valve malfunction. Replacing washers or installing a new ball cock assembly should rectify the problem.
  • Waster supply is restricted. Check that the shutoff valve is completely open. Check for scale or corrosion on valve at entry into tank.

Major repairs in your plumbing and installation of important fixtures should be carried out by licensed plumbing professionals. Improper installation of fixtures can cause a world of pain. Sewer replacements and septic systems should always be conducted by experts trained in plumbing. Herndon, VA residents can call on the services of licensed service providers for their plumbing requirements.

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Buffalo, New York warehouse fire injures 12 firefighters

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Buffalo, New York —12 firefighters in Buffalo, New York, United States have been taken to the hospital where they are being treated for smoke and chemical inhalation after a massive fire broke out at a warehouse on Buffalo’s west side, early Monday morning. At least three fire companies started battling the blaze, which engulfed the entire warehouse, sending a plume of smoke into the air which could be seen for several miles, at one point darkening the sky. All 12 firefighters are being treated at Erie County Medical Center, but their conditions are not known. At least 80 firefighters were reported to be on scene along with a total of nine of the 19 fire companies in Buffalo. Firefighters were still on scene as of 9:15 a.m. EDT (UTC-4) today, nearly 24 hours after the fire started.

The fire started at the Leisure Living Pool Supplies warehouse at 1130 Niagara street between West Ferry and Albany streets behind the Rich Products building at around 10:30 a.m. Monday and was not brought under control until 6:30 a.m. today. The warehouse is three floors tall. Firefighters had the fire under control just before 12:00 p.m. Monday, but wind off Lake Erie reignited the fire at around 3:00 p.m. At around 7:00 p.m., most of the blaze was under control, but smoke could still be seen coming from the building. All employees from both Rich’s and the chemical company have been sent home for the day and made it out safely. The building is owned by PoolSupplies.com which is a division of Leisure Living, selling supplies, recreation and chemicals for swimming pools. Leisure Living is a company of Island Pools.

The fire reignited again sometime this afternoon. It appears it reignited due to the earlier collapse of the roof and the winds off the lake.

At 9:00 p.m., firefighters reported that most of the fire was contained under the collapsed portions of the building, but around 10:00 p.m. firefighters reported that more thick black smoke started to rise from the building. Black smoke usually indicates burning, whereas white smoke often indicates water putting out a fire. Firefighters are using a helicopter, courtesy of the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, that is equipped with infrared cameras in order to see the areas of the building which still contain a significant amount of heat or fire.

After having fought the fire for over 24 hours, fire officials stated that the fire was mostly extinguished and ordered fire companies to start shutting down the hoses and pack up their equipment. Just before 1:00 p.m. the fire command post stated that fire investigators were on scene and that “they can call us (firefighters) back if they need anything.”

Officials have urged all residents near the blaze to stay indoors and to shut all windows and doors due to the smoke which has been blowing close to the ground. At least one civilian who was inside a park at the foot of Ferry was also taken to the hospital for smoke and chemical inhalation. Officials were able to evacuate the park and no other injuries were reported. At one point, the sun was blocked by the black smoke rising from the building.

“The fire reignited again sometime this afternoon. It appears it reignited due to the earlier collapse of the roof and the winds off the lake. Right now, one thing fire officials would like to get out and stress is anyone in and around the Niagara and Ferry area, if you could please go indoors, and shut your doors,” stated Michael DeGeorge, a spokesman for the Buffalo Police Department, to reporters. DeGeorge also stated that no residents have been evacuated.

The northbound lane of the I-190 expressway, which lies just to the west of the warehouse, was closed at the Porter Street exit at the Peace Bridge to the exit leading to the 198 expressway for several hours. At 11:15 p.m., firefighters stated they would begin to reopen the lane. Niagara street from Albany to West Ferry reopened to normal traffic in the late morning hours of Tuesday.

Throughout Monday afternoon and early evening, employees of Marco’s Restaurant on Niagara and Albany were providing ice and beverages to firefighters and police officers who were on scene. Temperatures were quite warm, in the upper 70’s (F), with winds gusting to nearly 15-20 MPH, coming out of the southwest. Although the wind assisted in reigniting the fire, it also assisted firefighters by quickly clearing the area of smoke.

The warehouse is a storage and distribution facility for pool chemicals, especially chlorine. Chemical drops could be felt flying through the air, which also had the smell of bleach. According to a source who spoke to Wikinews on condition of anonymity, the warehouse contained over US$8 million in supplies and chemicals.

Earlier tests performed on the air by firefighters and Haz-mat officials had shown that the smoke and fumes rising from the fire are not dangerous or toxic. Further tests were performed, but those results are not yet known and officials don’t believe there was any danger to the air. Officials will testing the water runoff from fire hoses to make sure that it is not contaminated as it is emptying into the Niagara River. The warehouse is located just down stream from a drinking water pumping station with several more scattered along the River from Buffalo to Niagara Falls.

The cause of the fire is not known and is under investigation. Last year, on May 14, 2007, at least five buildings that were part of a warehouse complex about 1/3 of a mile from Leisure caught fire, and required nearly 130 firefighters to battle the blaze. Smoke from that fire was seen over 40 miles away.

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Palestinians, Israelis clash in Jerusalem over construction at Temple Mount

Friday, February 9, 2007

Violent clashes have broken out between Palestinians and Israeli police near the al-Aqsa Mosque and Temple Mount in Jerusalem, from controversy over Israeli construction near the site, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews.

The construction work reportedly is to repair a pedestrian bridge that leads to the Mugrabi Gate, the entrance to the mosque used by Palestinians, and runs over the Jewish Western Wall area of the complex. The earthen ramp bridge leads to a hilltop compound known as the Temple Mount to Jews and as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims. The bridge collapsed in 2004 and was temporarily replaced with a wooden bridge which Israelis say is weakening and unsafe. Israel has controlled the contentious compound since the 1967 Mideast War,

The construction involves excavation work and digging at the site, which Palestinian leaders contend is part of an attempt to dig under the mosque to find evidence of the Jewish Second Temple and/or to deliberately weaken the foundation of the mosque. Muslims dispute that the Temple was located at the site. Some artifacts have been salvaged from the digging work.

Israeli forces locked down Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem in anticipation of backlashes from the construction. The Old Jerusalem city limits were blockaded, allowing only Palestinians over 45 years old from entering and only on foot. Palestinians from the West Bank were completely barred. Opponents have declared the blockades and the construction work a deliberate act to prevent Muslims from accessing the holy site. The mass of protesters at the site have in turn blocked Jewish access to the Western Wall.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas declared the construction and blockade as “hostile measures” against Muslims. Palestinian chief justice Tayssir al-Tamimi declared a “day of anger” and called on Palestinians to defend the mosque.

Arab and Muslim countries including Jordan, Malaysia and Indonesia criticized Israel for the controversial work and urged it to halt construction. Israeli defense minister Amir Peretz also warned against starting construction. The leader of the Pakistan Muslim League urged Muslim countries to freeze diplomatic ties with Israel in protest of the work.

Around 150 Muslims were inside the mosque for morning prayers when the construction and blockade began. An Israeli Muslim journalist reported that the worshippers were unable to leave and received loud messages from Israeli loudspeakers.

The al-Aqsa mosque is the third holiest site in Islam, having once been the central point of prayer (qibla) for Muslims and allegedly the place where Muhammad ascended into heaven. Conventional Judaism believes it is also the historic site of the First and Second Temples, the holiest temple in Judaism, which is prophesised to be rebuilt ahead of the coming of the Messiah.

No deaths have been reported in the clashes, which simmered by evening.

Demonstrations also took place at mosques throughout the Muslim world, including Egypt and Jordan. Protests were expected later in the day in Nazareth.

The incident comes only a few days after rival Palestinian political factions, Hamas and Fatah, came to an agreement for a unity government aimed at restoring international support of Palestine and a return to Israeli negotiations.

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Osama bin Laden killed in U.S. operation in Pakistan, White House says

Monday, May 2, 2011

U.S. officials last night said Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader and orchestrator of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and embassy bombings in 1998, had been killed by U.S. special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan near the capital Islamabad.

White House officials say that four others were killed in the forty-minute raid that began at 2000 UTC yesterday—including a woman said to have been used as a human shield. One of those shot is thought to be bin Laden’s son. An American helicopter was lost due to mechanical failure, but no U.S. forces or civilians were killed.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced the news in a statement late last night. “I can report to the American people and to the world, that the U.S. has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,” Obama said. He confirmed he had been told in August of a lead to the location of bin Laden, and approved the operation last week. The operation involved a “small team of Americans”, Obama said.

The operation, led by the CIA, occurred nearly ten years after the 9/11 attacks. CIA director Leon Panetta notified U.S. legislators Sunday about the news. His body was verified using several methods, including DNA testing with DNA from a dead sister’s body, stored in a Boston, Massachusetts hospital, as well as facial recognition. However, staff at the hospital in question—Massachusetts General Hospital—have not been able to “find any evidence” of the body ever being stored there. U.S. officials said his body was then buried at sea at around 0600 UTC today, “in accordance with Islamic law and traditions” and because of the difficulty of finding a country that would accept the remains of the world’s most wanted man. Saudi Arabia, the country in which Osama bin Laden was born, refused a U.S. offer to take the body.

Following the President’s announcement, people started gathering in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., Times Square and Ground Zero—the site of the World Trade Center—in New York, to celebrate; singing the national anthem. Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, said he hoped the death of bin Laden would “bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001”.

The U.S. government is reportedly expecting al-Qaeda to soon release what they are likely to call a “martyr tape”—an audio recording made by bin Laden to be broadcast after his death.

Although the death of the 54-year-old bin Laden, who was the most wanted person in the world, was greeted with celebration in the U.S., analysts have warned that al-Qaeda will “undoubtedly” launch a retaliatory attack. “I think the significance of what has happened cannot really be overstated,” John Gearson, director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College London, said.

“There will be concerns that there could be some sort of retaliation, that al-Qaeda may well want to demonstrate that they are still strong and still in the game.” He warned that U.S. officials may “lose their focus” after such a major victory, “and that will provide an opportunity for the remnants of al-Qaeda to reform and grow stronger.”

I can report to the American people and to the world, that the U.S. has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, appealed to Islamic militant fighters to use the opportunity of bin Laden’s death to abandon their groups. “Our message to the Taliban remains the same, but today it may have even greater resonance: you cannot wait us out,” she said. “You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon Al Qaeda and cooperate in a peaceful political process.”

The president of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, said that “we have waken up in a safer world”, with the news bringing “safety to millions of people”, whilst U.S. senator John McCain sought to remind the American people to “be mindful that al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies”. The Kremlin reiterated that “revenge is inescapable for all terrorists”, and that “only a joint struggle against global terrorism can bring a result”.

The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, sought to remind people bin Laden was “the world’s most prominent leader”, going on to say that “it was of great importance that he was still alive and active, and it is unequivocally a good thing that he is no longer able to pursue terror, murder and mayhem in the world”. Mentioning that security at British embassies worldwide have been increased in the wake of the news, he reiterated that the death of the al-Qaeda leader was a “serious blow”, and that, “like any organisation that has suffered a serious blow, they will want to show in some way that they are still able to operate”.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, welcomed the news, along with many other European countries. He praised the “tenacity” of the U.S. attack, congratulating the “major blow” the move dealt to al-Qaeda. Eight French citizens were killed last week in a bomb blast in Marrakesh, and, although no group has yet claimed responsibility, it is speculated that al-Qaeda were behind the attack. Sarkozy paid homage to them, as well as other around the world, saying the “victims received justice today and France has thoughts for them and their families”.

It is unequivocally a good thing that he is no longer able to pursue terror, murder and mayhem in the world.

Pakistani officials were not informed of the planned raid, with the White House saying this was “essential to the security of the operation and our personnel”. However Obama emphasised that cooperation with Pakistan had helped in finding bin Laden. The operation, described by one senior White House official as “a surgical raid by a small team designed to minimise collateral damage”, was not intended to take bin Laden alive. “It was a kill mission”, said one security official. Bin Laden died after being shot in the head.

Witnesses in Abbottabad have described how the U.S. forces carried out the raid on the compound, which had significant security features, including walls up to 18-foot high topped with barbed wire. “We saw four helicopters at around 2am. We were told to switch off lights of our homes and stay inside,” one witness, who lives in the town of Bilal in Abbottabad, said. The man confirmed he had seen the wreckage of the U.S. military helicopter which crashed after experiencing mechanical difficulties.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the U.S. “operation was conducted [by] U.S. forces in accordance with declared U.S. policy that Osama bin Laden will be eliminated in a direct action by the U.S. forces, wherever found in the world”, noting that almost “30,000 Pakistani civilians” had been killed in terrorist attacks in recent years, with the “nation fully united in [its] resolve to eliminate terrorism”.

We saw four helicopters at around 2am. We were told to switch off lights of our homes and stay inside.

However, Pervez Musharraf, a former president of Pakistan, criticised the U.S. involvement, describing the operation as a “violation of [Pakistani] sovereignty,” and saying the raid was a “a failure of both Pakistani and U.S. intelligence”; he stressed it would have been “far better” if the Pakistani Special Services Group had carried out the attack. Musharraf went on to say he was “surprised” bin Laden was found in Abbottabad, but added the terrorist leader “had declared war against Pakistan”, and that the news came as a “victory for the people of Pakistan and all the peace loving people of the world”.

The news that bin Laden was hiding just a few hundred metres from Pakistan Military Academy, a similar institution to the U.S. West Point Academy or the UK Sandhurst, has been met with embarrassment on behalf of the Pakistani government, and scepticism from others. “This is a serious blow to the credibility of Pakistan”, according to one Pakistani security analyst. Earlier today, Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai maintained he knew bin Laden was in Pakistan: “For 10 years we told NATO and the world community but for ten years they didn’t listen to our voice. They burned Afghanistan for ten years but Osama was in Islamabad.”

Whilst many governments worldwide welcomed the death of bin Laden, more than 800 people marched in the Pakistani city of Quetta, paying homage to bin Laden and burning a U.S. flag. According to the organizer, “Bin Laden was the hero of the Muslim world and after his martyrdom he has won the title of great mujahed”. At the march, pro-Taliban and anti-United States sentiments were chanted, before the protesters dispersed peacefully.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan have denied that bin Laden has been killed, although in a conference call to several Pakistani media outlets, a rebel spoksperson threatened to seek revenge: “If Bin Laden attained martyrdom, then we will avenge his death and we will attack the governments of Pakistan and the United States and their security forces”.

Although no images of bin Laden’s body have been released, the Obama administration is, according to ABC News, in possession of gruesome photographs: a “massive head wound” where he took a bullet, with “blood and brains clearly visible”.

The price of oil has dropped following the announcement after speculation that the death of bin Laden will lower the risk of supply disruption in the Middle East, with a barrel of crude oil for June delivery falling by $1.92.

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Sweeping bank regulatory overhaul passed in US House of Representatives

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Never again, never again should Wall Street greed bring such suffering to our country.

The US House of Representatives passed a significant overhaul of financial regulations that strengthens the government’s hold on banks and also creates a new federal agency to oversee consumer lending on Wednesday.

“Never again, never again should Wall Street greed bring such suffering to our country,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD after the bill was passed by the House.

The House vote, which was mainly split over party lines, had 237 representatives in favor and 192 opposed. Only three Republicans voted for the bill, though this was an increase from December, when no Republicans voted for the previous version of the bill. This new bill combines the old December bill with a newer one passed by the more conservative Senate last month.

But even though the Senate passed their bill already, support for the one passed Wednesday looks a little uncertain. Since earlier this year the Democrats lost their 60 vote filibuster majority, they had to secure the votes of a few more moderate Republican senators to beat back procedural hurdles. Democrats struggled to win the full support of these senators even after backing down on a US$19 billion tax on big banks and hedge funds, which had been opposed by Republicans. This group of senators includes Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. All three voted for the Senate bill last month.

The $19 billion tax was inserted in the 2000 page plus bill late last week, which came as a surprise to many large banks. Brown initially objected to the tax, and threatened to vote against the entire bill if the tax was not removed. Instead, the new way of financing the bill’s cost will be using $11 billion in cash that came from ending the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a bill passed in 2008 that bailed out struggling banks, and also by increasing rates that banks pay to insure bank deposits to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. However, the increase in rates won’t affect banks with assets of less then $10 billion.

On Wednesday, Collins wrote a statement saying that she now planned to vote for the bill. However, Brown remained on the fence and said he would use recess during the week of July 4th to examine the details of the bill. He credited Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd for “thinking outside the box” in coming with a new way to fund the bill.

Other Republicans were much more opposed to the bill, and attacked it for failing to place tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants that helped trigger the economic and housing meltdowns. House Republican leader John Boehner compared the new bill to using a nuclear weapon on an ant. In response, President Barack Obama said in a speech in Racine, Wisconsin that “[i]f the Republican leader is that out of touch with the struggles facing the American people, he should come here to Racine and ask people if they think the financial crisis was an ant.”

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Charlie the smoking chimpanzee dies aged 52

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Charlie, a Chimpanzee in a South African zoo who became addicted to cigarettes, has died at the age of 52, exceeding the average lifespan of a captive chimpanzee by twelve years. After a video of Charlie puffing on cigarettes discarded by visitors appeared on the Internet, the animal and the zoo gained international attention and some visitors threw him additional cigarettes.

According to his keepers, Charlie was “an occasional smoker” and even tried to hide his habit from his keepers, who were trying to get him to quit by giving him medical care and a special diet. A recent study found that only seven percent of chimpanzees in captivity live beyond forty years of age. It is estimated that 500,000 people die due to smoking-related diseases every year in the United States alone.

It is believed that Charlie learned to smoke during his time in a US circus before being transferred to the zoo. Zookeepers say that the animal died of old age but an autopsy has yet to confirm this. The zoo suggested that Charlie’s body could be stuffed and put on display.

PostHeaderIcon The Best Recession Proof Business In A Bad Economy

By Dianne Ronnow

Are you looking for a recession proof business? People all over the world are affected by this recession and tough economy. Once solid jobs and businesses are disappearing rapidly. Retirement income and savings are disappearing just as quickly for many as well. Many thousands of people are looking for a way to make more money in a bad economy both at home and online.

Can it be done– absolutely! There is incredible income potential if you know what your are doing.

Is it easy? No. Like anything real, you have to work at it.

Even in a recession, there are always new opportunities that open and ways to thrive financially. Some recession-proof businesses actually grow more during bad economic times or even a depression. One of these businesses is network marketing.

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Network marketing (MLM) is one of the best recession-proof businesses you can be in during bad economic times. Network marketing actually thrives when the economy is bad.

When the economy starts to slow down people start looking for ways to make extra income from home. Friends and family that scoffed at your business last year may now come running to you to find out how they can get started.

A network marketing home business doesn?t require a huge amount of capital to start. An ordinary person can get started in their own business with relatively little money invested. Plus you can work your own hours from home.

And network marketing has huge income potential. That is one of the reasons why Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad) and Donald Trump recommend MLM as a way for the average ?Joe? to build wealth.

It is true that many people do fail at network marketing, and one of the main reasons is that they were never taught how to market their business properly. Many upline leaders are teaching their downline the old out-of-date marketing techniques of the 90?s. Distributors are taught to duplicate outdated marketing techniques such as home business meetings, tables at events, passing out business cards, endless phone calls to long lists of purchased leads, and bugging friends and family for referrals.

The Internet is the future for home business and network marketing. When network marketing trainers and companies don?t teach their distributors how to market effectively and profitably on the Internet, people waste a lot of time, effort and money. Many eventually give up and think that network marketing doesn?t work.

Duplication is the key to success in network marketing, but the old marketing practices just don?t work in today?s online world and have long been bypassed by newer online web marketing techniques and systems. Those that master the Internet are dominating their network marketing companies.

I can show you how to succeed financially in your network marketing company by utilizing the power of modern marketing practices on the web without doing all those out-of-date and tedious old marketing practices.

I have a simple system that will teach you powerful techniques for online marketing. This system can be used for any MLM or network marketing company, and is easily duplicatable.

For more information, click on the link below.

About the Author: Dianne Ronnow is an Author and Online Business and Marketing Coach. Learn Dianne’s Secrets to Real Home Business Income at

DianneRonnow.com

now! This article may be freely copied as long as it is not modified and the resource box accompanies the article, together with working hyperlinks. By Dianne Ronnow ? 2008-9. All rights reserved.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

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Paintings worth millions of Swiss francs stolen in Zürich

Monday, February 11, 2008

On Sunday evening, around 16:30 local time, three armed men wearing ski masks stole four paintings: Claude Monet‘s “Poppy field at Vetheuil,” Edgar Degas‘ “Ludovic Lepic and his Daughter,” Vincent van Gogh‘s “Blooming Chestnut Branches” and Paul Cezanne‘s “Boy in the Red Waistcoat” from Foundation E.G. Bührle museum in Zürich, Switzerland.

The three armed robbers entered the museum half an hour before closing. One man with a pistol forced employees to the ground while the other two men stole the paintings. The whole ordeal lasted only 3 minutes. The men then proceeded to a van and left.

The four paintings are worth a total of 163 million US dollars. It’s said that it would be hard to sell the stolen paintings on the open market due to the popularity of the paintings. There is a reward of 90 thousand US dollars for the artwork.

The robbers, who were still at large, stole the paintings Sunday from the E.G. Bührle Collection, one of Europe’s finest private museums for Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, police said.

It was the largest art robbery in Swiss history and one of the biggest ever in Europe, said Marco Cortesi, spokesman for the Zürich police. He compared it to the theft in 2004 of Edvard Munch‘s The Scream and Madonna from the Munch Museum in Norway.

Last week, Swiss police reported that two Pablo Picasso paintings were stolen from a Swiss exhibition near Zurich.