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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:

isnare.com/?aid=324008&ca=Business

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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.

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Tim Curry, TV premiere screenings, cosplay feature at Fan Expo Canada

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Toronto pop culture convention Fan Expo Canada has wrapped for another year. It ran from Thursday to Sunday. Major panels included Tim Curry and the cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show, Beauty and the Beast voices Robby Benson and Paige O’Hara, actors Kathleen Turner, Richard Dreyfuss, Anthony Daniels, Felicia Day, and child leads from Stranger Things. Canadian television channel Space hosted a Star Trek: Discovery panel with seven lead cast members. On the heels of sister event Toronto Comic Con’s Degrassi reunion event, the lineup included a twentieth anniversary panel with the stars of another Canadian high school television series, Student Bodies.

Heading into its fourth and final season, attendees got a chance to see the season opener of Star Wars: Rebels on Saturday, followed by a panel. The event has had a continuing relationship with the series, screening other episodes previously. The second season premiere of the sci-fi series Travelers was accompanied by a panel including Eric McCormack. Canadian true-crime drama Bad Blood had its world premiere. Other debuts included broadcaster City with the Canadian premiere of Ghosted, with Craig Robinson in attendance, Teletoon with the Canadian premiere of Hotel Transylvania: The Series, and YTV with the new animated series Mysticons.

Anime fans could watch episodes of their favourite shows, including AKB0048, Otaku No Video, Hana Yamata, My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, and Penguindrum.

The book Star Wars Made Easy, targeted to non-fans to get up to speed on the fictional universe’s various facts and figures, was ironically launched by DK Canada for a room of fans of the franchise. Author Christian Blauvelt answered questions from the audience on topics like his opinion on Midiclorians — he understands fan contention, but suggested that science and religion can co-exist, like in the real world — quizzed the audience on trivia, and signed copies of his book.

Some panels were quite ahead of the curve: one on Star Wars costume and prop building discussed building Porgs figures, despite the film The Last Jedi not being released to theatres yet.

York Regional Police were at the event with United and Unity, two brightly lit characters of their own creation. The force received funding in 2014 from the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy to create a short film featuring the character United, receiving positive recognition locally. “Our United superhero program is part of our on-going efforts to connect with our community and show police in a different light,” YRP Constable Andy Pattenden told Wikinews. He explains that the officers who developed the project have a background in film-making, and “serve as an opportunity for us to start a conversation with youth and connect with them at a non-traditional level.”

Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt, a puppet in the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, was re-created by the 501st Legion as an animatronic. The 501st is a fan group that dresses like the series villains for charitable events, particularly those raising funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The new addition to their annual display commanded long lineups throughout the day, from con-goers looking to donate in exchange for a photo-op with the massive, slug-like alien.

As with most major conventions, cosplayers were numerous, ranging from simple outfits that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow if worn from day-to-day, to elaborately-created costumes and giant props. Outfits recognized by Wikinews’ reporter ranged from classic characters like the 1960s version of Batgirl and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character created by Walt Disney in 1927, before Mickey, to 2010s characters from creative works like Undertale, Disney Descendants, League of Legends, and Adventure Time. Few characters are too obscure, if they appeal to a fan: the female avatar of “hivemind” character Unity, from a single episode of Rick and Morty, was spotted. One woman “biting” another woman’s arm would be cause for concern most places, but at a pop culture convention, it simply means that “Lilo” is re-enacting a scene with “Mertle”, as seen in the film Lilo and Stitch.

Wikinews talked with Cheryl, the co-host of the weekly video series “Our Didnee Side”, who was dressed as Gadget Hackwrench, a mouse from the 1990s television series Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers. Speaking for both of the hosts, she said their passion for Disney has “exploded” since starting the YouTube channel, and that they are both “creators. We can’t seem to go a day without making something. We love doing Disney cosplay because it is like a beacon for other people in the fandom to come find us in a sea of other characters.” Conventions like Fan Expo Canada become “a great opportunity to meet like-minded Disney fans, and to possibly escape for the weekend from our ‘boring human’ lives.”

Adrianna Prosser, host of Toronto geek culture community website Geektropolis, spent part of the convention Fan Expo Canada 2017 as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. She told Wikinews that “geeking in Toronto is always such a joy, what with amazing cosplay and passionate fandoms coming together at Fan Expo!” She explained that the site tries to keep the feeling of the event going all year, featuring local creators and “geeky” fans, in an effort to bring the community closer together.

Party game Cards Against Humanity — intriguingly available under a non-commercial Creative Commons license — offered a “Free Apologies from An American” booth, where a representative offered regrets to the largely Canadian visitors. The booth’s curtains came into use at least once on Friday, closing when a Trump cosplayer reached the front of the line.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with NDP candidate Rick Morelli, Vaughan

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Rick Morelli is running for the NDP in the Ontario provincial election, in the Vaughan riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Five hundred migrants alleged killed in deliberate sinking in Mediterranean

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Monday about 500 migrants may have been killed in a deliberate sinking in the Mediterranean Sea last week. The unverified claim comes after IOM debriefed two Palestinian survivors.

In a statement, IOM said, “If this story, which police are investigating, is true, it would be the worst shipwreck in years”. The organization added, if the story would be revealed as true it would be “not an accident but a mass murder, perpetrated by criminals without scruples or any respect for human life”.

IOM Spokesperson in Italy Flavio Di Giacomo told AFP, “Two survivors brought to Sicily told us that there had been at least 500 people on board. Nine other survivors were rescued by Greek and Maltese ships, but all the rest appear to have perished”.

According to the two survivors, the boat, which departed on September 6 from Damietta, Egypt bound for Malta, sank in the Mediterranean Sea last Wednesday when people smugglers rammed it; drowning the vast majority of its 500 plus passengers, including refugees from Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Palestine. They said the smugglers had become angry when the passengers refused transfer to a smaller vessel that they doubted could carry them.

The Palestinian ambassador to Malta, Jubran Tawil, said three Palestinians who had been on board the boat have been rescued with aid from Panamanian ships and flown to Malta by a Maltese helicopter together with some of the dead.

According to UN data, this year the number of migrants by sea to Europe exceeds 130,000, up by 50,000 from last year. Many people from North Africa and the Middle East attempt to reach Europe on overcrowded, unsafe boats. Over 2,500 people on this journey have drowned or disappeared this year, 2,200 of them since June.

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US to sell precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Bush administration officially notified Congress Monday of its intention to sell sophisticated precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia. The action, coinciding with President Bush’s visit to Saudi Arabia, is part of a broader U.S. effort to bolster Gulf allies in the face of a more assertive Iran. VOA’s David Gollust reports from the State Department.

The Bush administration has already briefed Congress on its arms sales plans for Saudi Arabia. Monday’s announcement sets in motion a 30-day period in which the House and Senate can block the plan with a joint resolution – an action that appears highly unlikely.

Under the proposed deal, worth more than $120 million, the United States would provide Saudi Arabia with 900 kits and associated equipment to convert conventional gravity bombs into GPS-guided smart-bombs, known as JDAMs.

The weapons are a mainstay of the U.S. military arsenal and their accuracy would vastly enhance the capability of the Saudi Air Force, which has top-of-the-line U.S.-made fighter-bomber aircraft.

The sale is part of a broader $20-billion arms package for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states announced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates last August on a mission to the Gulf, aimed at shoring up U.S. allies concerned about Iranian influence in the region.

Several elements of the broader package including sales of Patriot anti-missile systems to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, and upgrades for Saudi Arabia’s AWACS airborne command and control planes, have already gotten congressional assent. Officials here say they also expect the Saudi J-DAMS sale to proceed despite concerns expressed by some congressional supporters of Israel.

At the time the Gulf weapons sales package was announced last year, the Bush administration also committed to a 10-year, $30-billion arms package for Israel, representing a 25 per cent increase in annual U.S. arms aid to that country.

Briefing reporters, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the administration has assured Congress it would do nothing to upset Israel’s military edge over potential enemies in the region.

“We’ve spent a lot of time assuring that we abide by our commitments to a qualitative military edge for Israel,” said Sean McCormack. “This is something that President Reagan first talked about and it’s been reiterated and reconfirmed by each successive president after that. We’re committed to maintaining that qualitative military edge for Israel.”

Israel itself has not protested the pending sale. Israeli officials have said they anticipate being provided with a new-generation U.S. smart bomb more capable than J-DAMS, which have been in service for more than a decade.

A spokesman for House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, a prominent advocate for Israel in Congress, said he does not intend to push a resolution of disapproval.

However one House member, New York Democrat Anthony Weiner, said he would introduce such a measure and already has more than 30 co-sponsors.

Critics of the package have faulted Saudi Arabia’s record in combating terrorism and advancing political reform. Under questioning here, Spokesman McCormack said the Saudi government has made “quantum leaps” in action against terrorist cells and financing in recent years and has begun the process of reform, though not necessarily at a pace that would please some critics.

Two-thirds majorities of the members in both houses would be required to block the sale and officials here say chances for that appear nil.

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News briefs:June 10, 2010

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Memorial for toddler who died under care of controversial ‘1 Mind Ministries’ group

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A memorial service was held Friday for Javon Thompson, a toddler that died in Baltimore, Maryland, while under the care of a religious group called “1 Mind Ministries”. Thompson died in late 2006 or early 2007 in an apartment in West Baltimore. According to police statements, members of 1 Mind Ministries refused the boy food and water because he did not say “amen” after group meals. Police say the boy would have been about 19 months old when members of the group stopped feeding him in December 2006.

I loved this baby more than anything in my life.

The Baltimore Sun spoke with Seeta Khadan-Newton, Javon Thompson’s grandmother, at the funeral service which took place at March Funeral Homes in Northwest Baltimore. “I loved this baby more than anything in my life,” she said.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Khadan–Newton told them she had contacted Baltimore’s Division of Social Services at least four times between April and December of 2006 out of worries for Thompson’s wellbeing and location. DSS officials stated that they received only two phone calls, and the complaints about Thompson’s treatment were not enough to look into further.

WJZ-TV reported that “Queen Antoinette”, the 40-year-old leader of 1 Mind Ministries, allegedly concealed Javon Thompson’s body in a blanket and sprayed it with fabric softener to mask the odor before having a member of the group leave the body in a friend’s backyard shed in Philadelphia. According to police, members of 1 Mind Ministries placed Thompson’s remains in a suitcase and took it to Philadelphia in February 2007, where they left it with an elderly friend. Subsequently members of the group moved to Brooklyn, New York. Law enforcement authorities found the suitcase with Thompson’s remains in April 2008.

Ria Ramkissoon, 21, Thompson’s mother, and four others, have been charged with first-degree murder by Baltimore homicide detectives in connection with the boy’s death. The Associated Press reported that police charging documents state that Queen Antoinette instructed her followers to pray for Javon Thompson to be resurrected while he lay dead in the back room of the Baltimore apartment. An informant told police Queen Antoinette left Javon Thompson’s body in the back room of the apartment for over a week, and told her followers: “God was going to raise Javon from the dead”.

The members of this cult, who were more than twice her age, were calling the shots.

Ramkissoon’s mother and her attorney assert that she was brainwashed by the 1 Mind Ministries group and acted under the control of Queen Antoinette. “The members of this cult, who were more than twice her age, were calling the shots,” said Ramkissoon’s attorney Steven Silverman at a court hearing for his client. Inside the group, Ria Ramkissoon referred to herself as “Princess Marie”.

Court documents revealed that 1 Mind Ministries conducted operations in secret, did not believe in medical care and dressed in all-white clothing. Members of the group were referred to as “princes” and “princesses” by Queen Antoinette, also known as Toni Sloan or Toni Ellsberry. Documents also state that they viewed Javon Thompson as a “demon” for not saying “amen” after meals, that they stopped feeding him in December 2006, and did not seek out medical attention when the boy stopped breathing and died.

It fits the profile of a classic cult…

Rick A. Ross of The Ross Institute Internet Archives for the Study of Destructive Cults, Controversial Groups and Movements spoke with the Associated Press about the nature of the 1 Mind Ministries group, and asserted that it meets the definition of a “cult“. Ross has given expert testimony in cases related to controversial groups and has studied them for 26 years. Law enforcement officials also used the term to describe the 1 Mind Ministries group, specifically characterizing it as a “Christian fundamentalist cult”.

“It fits the profile of a classic cult in the sense that it’s a personality-driven group and that Queen Antoinette is that animating personality and central defining element of the group,” said Ross. He compared the group to others where children were killed because they did not follow the instructions of the group. The Ross Institute Internet Archives maintains a page about 1 Mind Ministries, which contains archived news articles, a photo of Queen Antoinette, and links to other resources.

Prosecutors in the murder case have also referred to the 1 Mind Ministries group as a “cult”, and said that members of the group would likely follow Queen Antoinette’s instructions during the trial. In a hearing August 13 where Queen Antoinette and group member Trevia Williams, 21, were denied bail, they both also refused legal representation from Baltimore public defenders, and both declined a preliminary hearing. “Chances are, the cult members are going to do what she tells them to do,” said Baltimore Assistant State’s Attorney David C. Chiu at the court proceeding. Ria Ramkissoon is being held in the psychiatric unit of a city jail in Baltimore, Queen Antoinette, Trevia Williams and group member Marcus Cobbs are also being held in jail in Baltimore, and federal officials in New York from the United States Marshals Service are searching for another member of the group.

This baby died so that they could be exposed.

Rev. Anna V. Nelson spoke to the family at the memorial service in Baltimore, saying: “I would like to think that this boy died for us. This baby has left a message here for the whole world. This baby died so that they [1 Mind Ministries] could be exposed.”

The memorial service ended with a presentation of video clips of Javon Thompson playing, being held by his mother, and finally watching the camera as a female voice says goodbye to him.