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Wikinews Shorts: August 8, 2009

Wikinews Shorts: August 8, 2009

A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, August 8, 2009.


  • 1 Leader of Pakistan Taliban may have been killed in drone attack
  • 2 Hillary Clinton arrives in South Africa
  • 3 Anniversary of Georgian War marked by mutual accusations
  • 4 Police in the United Kingdom ordered to review policing of demonstrations
  • 5 Son of missing Japanese actress Noriko Sakai found safe
  • 6 Seven coalition troops killed within 24 hour period in Afghanistan
  • 7 Hong Kong government to begin school drug testing trials in December
  • 8 Nine killed in Belgium care home fire
  • 9 India and China resume border talks
  • 10 President Kennedy’s sister Eunice Kennedy in critical condition at hospital

Mo Ibrahim: Some African countries too small to continue to exist independently

Mo Ibrahim: Some African countries too small to continue to exist independently

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sudanese-born British mobile communications tycoon Mo Ibrahim told a news conference in Tanzania today that some African countries are too small to keep functioning independently, and need to integrate in order to survive.

Ibrahim, speaking at the beginning of a two-day-long event encouraging good governance on the continent, commented that “some of our countries, and I’m really sorry to say this, are just not viable….We need scale and we need that now — not tomorrow, the next year or the year after.”

“Intra-African trade is 4–5 percent of our international trade. Why? This is unacceptable, unviable, and people need to stand up and say this,” he continued. “Who are we to think that we can have 53 tiny little countries and be ready to compete with China, India, Europe, the Americans? It is a fallacy.”

“We are poor, we are hungry, we are going without. Something is drastically wrong. I think we have the right to ask our leaders: are they really serious?” he said.

A reporter for the BBC suggested that the tycoon was talking about economic, not political, integration.

Ibrahim also surprised many African leaders when he did not give out his Ibrahim Prize in October, worth US$5 million. The prize is given to former sub-Saharan African leaders whose governance has been deemed good. Prize judges didn’t say why it wasn’t given out this year. Former presidents Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and Festus Mogae of Botswana both have received the prize in the past.

How To Get A Quality Orlando Home Inspection Before Buying Your Dream Home

Submitted by: Virender Labroo

You have finally found a house you d like to buy but get the services of an Orlando home inspection company first before purchasing it. This is important because the house may look great and durable on the outside but we never know what s inside or beneath. There might already be termites feasting on the wooden walls, or there may be already some other type of pests festering a part of the house. All these and more will be seen by a professional home inspector, whom you should consult first before signing the deed for the house and property.

Builders and real estate sellers today will allow you time to take a look over the house and have it assessed by a home inspector of your choice. This gives you the assurance that you will be getting a house that is worth your money. You will have to look for a competent Orlando home inspection company to look over the whole condition of the house. You will also have to keep tabs on how the home inspector assesses the house, and try to learn a lot from him.

When doing the home inspection, all the parties involved in the selling and buying of the property are usually present. It is most important that you yourself should be present during the inspection, as the house is potentially yours in the future. There are also a lot of things you can learn about the house and about homes in general, in paying attention to the home inspector.

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You should know that a home inspection is not done in just a day. A thorough inspection will take a few days to finish. You should make sure of this as you are contemplating the purchase offer of the house. If the home inspector finishes the inspection in just a matter of hours, then start worrying whether or not he really is good enough for the task. Competent home inspectors usually take their time in going over every part of the house in order to make sure it is in perfect condition.

Among the important things to be inspected at the house are the utilities. The home inspector should have knowledge about the operations of the utilities, and if they are still good to be used by the future occupants of the house. Make sure that the home inspector has these evaluated properly.

After you and the home inspector are done going over the house, it is time to go over the inspector s findings. Let him explain in detail each of the problems and potential problems that you will encounter in the house. Don t be shy to ask if you get confused over something. You should be able to understand the results of the home inspection and be aware of the problems in the property.

Ask the home inspector for some other improvements that can be made to the house. He may have business contacts and referrals to make that can help with improving the state of the property. Examples of other inspections that he could suggest are septic system evaluation, radon screening, and many more that you may need help with in the future. It is part of his job and he will be glad to help. You can always feel more assured when you have an Orlando Home Inspection performed by a qualified, trained and credentialed Orlando Home Inspector to give you a thorough and unbiased evaluation of your future home.

About the Author: Now that you know why it is so important to have a quality Orlando Home Inspection performed by a qualified

Orlando Home Inspector

, visit http://qualityorlandohomeinspection.com to learn in details what a good home inspection really involves and how to select a quality Orlando Home Inspections company and have all your questions answered.



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WHO’s reaction to H1N1 influenced by drug companies, reports claim

WHO’s reaction to H1N1 influenced by drug companies, reports claim

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Reports suggest the World Health Organisation’s declaring a swine flu pandemic was an error driven by drug companies, and lead to unjustified fear. A year after the swine flu pandemic was declared, stocks are left unused and governments try to abandon contracts, pharmaceutical companies have profited at least £4.6billion from the sale of vaccines alone.

Reports by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) and the Council of Europe claim that The World Health Organisation reaction to H1N1 was influenced by pharmaceutical companies and that key scientists behind advice had financial ties with firms Roche and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). These conflicts of interest have never been publicly disclosed by WHO, an apparent violation of its own rules.

The World Health Organisation issued H1N1 guidelines in 2004, recommending countries to stockpile millions of doses of antiviral medication. The advice prompted many countries around the world into buying up large stocks of Tamiflu, made by Roche, and Relenza manufactured by GSK.

A joint investigation with the BMJ and the BIJ, found that scientists involved in developing the WHO 2004 guidance had previously been paid by Roche or GSK for lecturing and consultancy work as well as being involved in research for the companies. “The WHO’s credibility has been badly damaged,” BMJ editor Fiona Godlee said in an editorial.

A report by the health committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a 47-member human rights watchdog, found that the WHO’s reaction was influenced by drug companies that make H1N1 antiviral drugs and vaccines. It criticised WHO lack of transparency around the handling of the swine flu pandemic and says the public health guidelines by WHO, EU agencies and national governments led to a “waste of large sums of public money and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public.”

We’re still in the pandemic

A spokesman for WHO said the drug industry did not influence its decisions on swine flu. Margaret Chan, the organisation’s director, had dismissed inquiries into its handling of the A/H1N1 pandemic as “conspiracy theories” earlier this year, she had said: “WHO anticipated close scrutiny of its decisions, but we did not anticipate that we would be accused, by some European politicians, of having declared a fake pandemic on the advice of experts with ties to the pharmaceutical industry and something personal to gain from increased industry profits.”

Yesterday, a 16-member “emergency committee” consisting of advisors from the World Health Organisation said that the H1N1 pandemic is not yet over. The WHO has refused to identify committee members, arguing that they must be shielded from industry pressure, so possible conflicts of interest with drug companies are unknown. The BMJ report also reveals that at least one expert on the “emergency committee” received payment during 2009 from GSK.

In related news, Reuters reported, Pfizer Inc, the world’s biggest drugmaker, is selling its swine vaccine business to Chinese Harbin Pharmaceutical Group for $50 million.

The History Of Barcodes}

The History of Barcodes



Barcodes are used in applications in various industries and have turned out to be a key feature in increasing business efficiency and workforce productivity. Linear barcodes are made up of parallel bars and spaces in varying widths which can represent just about any data and facilitate automatic identification and faster data collection. Barcodes have evolved significantly from the original 1D or linear barcodes storing limited information to more advanced matrix or 2D barcodes that can store thousands of characters of data.

Initial Stage (1932 To 1967)

The idea of barcodes was first conceptualized by Wallace Flint in 1932 as a part of his Masters thesis paper. He invented an automated checkout system for a grocery store using punched cards and flow racks to automatically dispense products. However, it is only in 1949 that modern day barcodes came into existence. Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver developed a bulls eye style barcode as a part of university research project to develop an automated system to gather product information during checkout for a local food chain. Woodland drew inspiration from Morse code and movie soundtrack systems to invent modern barcodes.

David Collins, who worked in Sylvania, further developed the barcodes to address the problems faced in accurately tracking train cars. He developed a barcode with reflective stripes made from phosphorescent ink that can be easily read by light and pasted on train cars. Collins received several demands from various industries to launch a simpler version of his barcode to automate various business processes.

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Middle Stage (1967 To 1970)

Collins, in 1967 quit Sylvania and founded Computer Identics. Later, he continued to work on automatic identification technology. He used black and white barcodes but the light source was replaced with a laser beam that scanned the barcodes from several feet away. The laser light source was smaller, cooler, and could move back and forth at faster rates over the barcodes and even read damaged or scratched barcodes. This new barcode system found application in production, shipping, sorting, distribution, etc.

Current Generation (After 1970’s)

The 1970s saw barcodes transform from a raw concept to a viable enterprise technology. In mid 1970s, the NAFC established US Supermarket Ad Hoc Committee of Uniform Grocery Product Code for grocery industry. The committee later formulated a standardized 12-digit code to identify any product and invited bids from companies wanting to develop the technology. IBM won the bid in 1973 with the barcode developed by George Laurer. The barcode is separated into halves of 6 digits each. The first digit is always zero while next 5 digits represent the manufacturer. The digits from 7 to 11 represent the product number or SKU, while the last digit is the check digit used for validation to check whether the code is correctly read. The barcode allows scanning in any direction and easy printing. On June 26th, 1974, a pack of Wrigleys chewing gum became the first item to be scanned by a barcode system using UPC (Universal Product Code).

Uses of Barcodes

Barcodes ensure automatic identification of a product and error free data capture in less time. It is due to this capability that barcodes are used in applications across different industries like food processing, healthcare, manufacturing and distribution, retail and wholesale, warehousing, shipping and receiving, transportation, etc. The barcodes can help to accurately identify fast selling products and thereby help make timely decisions to replenish these products. Barcodes help to reduce unwanted stock by effectively identifying slow moving products. Barcodes can uniquely identify customers through membership cards that help retailers gather customer shopping pattern information. Also, barcodes ensure efficient inventory tracking across various industries that help to reduced operating costs and provide competitive advantage.

Barcodes provide detailed information on various business processes and automate the routine manual activities and tasks that help management to make timely and informed decisions. Barcodes have proved to be an effective tool to increase productivity, profitability, and accuracy of business processes across various industries.

For over 20 years, System ID has provided automation solutions and barcoding equipment to a wide range of large and small companies in virtually every industry sector. System ID offers more than 10,000 brand name products and services such as

symbol barcode scanner


zebra printers


Article Source:

The History of Barcodes}

Wikinews Shorts: December 12, 2008

Wikinews Shorts: December 12, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, December 12, 2008.


  • 1 Bank of America to cut 30,000 jobs
  • 2 African Union troops to leave Somalia
  • 3 Boeing delays launch of 787 once again
 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

Bank of America has announced that it is planning to cut anywhere between 30,000 and 35,000 jobs over the next three years. This comes after the completion of its takeover of the company Merril Lynch.

The job reductions could affect around 11% of the combined workforce of both companies, which amounts to about 308,000 people. The cuts are aimed at saving US$7 billion of annual costs.


Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, has told the parliament that African Union (AU) peacekeepers stationed in the east African country of Somalia want to leave the country by the end of the year.

They have requested that Ethiopian troops that are planning to leave the country at the end of the year to help them withdraw from Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu. There are some 3,200 troops from Uganda and Burundi covering sites in that city.

The withdrawal of the armed forces, however, could leave the area vulnerable to an insugent assault.


The aeroplane manufacturer Boeing has announced that there will be another delay in the launch of its 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft. The postponement has been blamed on production problems and strikes by machinists.

The aeroplane’s first flight has been put off until the second quarter of 2009, and will not start shipping until a year later. This is the 787’s fourth delay, and the aircraft is already two years behind schedule.

Boeing suggests that its financial outlook for 2009 will affected by the postponement.


Wikinews interviews Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC

Wikinews interviews Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A reporter from Wikinews recently interviewed Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC. The organization claims to have arranged for 22,158 people to send a message regarding the “American Freedom Agenda Act” proposed by Ron Paul, in addition to supporting many other laws. The full text of the interview can be found below.

Japan raises severity level of crisis; efforts to cool damaged nuclear power plant continue

Japan raises severity level of crisis; efforts to cool damaged nuclear power plant continue

Friday, March 18, 2011

As the nuclear crisis in Japan’s crippled Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant appears to worsen, Japan’s nuclear safety agency raised their assessment of its severity from 4 to 5 on the 7-level International Nuclear Event Scale, the same rating given the 1979 Three Mile Island crisis. Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, said bluntly that the situation at the nuclear power plant was “very grave”. Weather forecasts indicate changing winds may begin moving radiation closer to Tokyo by March 30.

Efforts thus far to cool nuclear fuel in the reactors and the spent-fuel pools has produced little if any success, contends United States government officials.

Engineers are working frantically to connect electrical power to two reactors in the plant, as well as to restart the cooling systems and prevent overheating of fuel rods. Tokyo Electric Power Co. stated that it hopes to reconnect a power line needed to restart water pumps to the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors by Saturday morning. However, a TEPCO official cautioned that if the water pumps were damaged by the tsunami, they could fail to restart.

The extent of the damage to the plant’s reactors is still unclear. Japanese officials have concentrated on cooling spent fuel rods in Reactor No. 3’s storage pool. On Friday, however, steam was seen rising from Reactor No. 2., where an explosion occurred on Tuesday. Additionally, engineers said on Thursday that the steel lining of the storage pool at Reactor No. 4 and its concrete base seemed damaged, as attempts to refill the pool with water became increasingly difficult.

In a briefing on Friday, Philippe Jamet, a commissioner at France’s nuclear regulator Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, said, “We must avoid being overly optimistic. This will likely take human intervention like going into control rooms to reconnect valves.”

CanadaVOTES: Liberal Dr. Eric Hoskins running in Haldimand—Norfolk

CanadaVOTES: Liberal Dr. Eric Hoskins running in Haldimand—Norfolk
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. Liberal candidate Dr. Eric Hoskins is standing for election in the riding of Haldimand—Norfolk.

Wikinews contacted Dr. Eric Hoskins, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

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Circular Wash Fountains

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By Patricia Holland

Circular wash fountains are constructed for heavy duty hand washing. Different styles allow you to choose what works best for your needs. You will find numerous sizes so youre able to accommodate the amount of people or the space you have for the fountain. With our collection of circular wash fountains youre sure to find the one you need for your laboratory, kitchen, or other space that requires a lot of hand washing.

Multi-Station Wash Fountains

The Circular Multi-Station Wash Fountains come in various sizes and styles. One design is offered with two choices: all stainless steel or terrazzo with a stainless steel bowl. This wash fountain can have between five and eight users at a time by choosing either the 36 inch or 54 inch diameter bowl. You will also have the choice of two different bowl heights to further guarantee that this circular wash fountain will fit in the area its needed.

Terrazzo or Stainless Steel Wash Fountains

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Our second Circular Multi-Station Wash Fountain choice is available in terrazzo or stainless steel. This circular wash station comes pre-assembled so installation is easy. The 36 inch or 54 inch bowl diameter will accommodate five to eight people. To further customize your order, you can choose from a selection of other options to order with your circular multi-station wash fountain. Foot control, infrared, touch time control, air valve metering, soap dispensers, and a variety of terrazzo color choices can be included in your order.

ADA Compliant Hand Wash Stations

The Circular Shallow Bowl Wash Fountain is a stainless steel circular wash station for durability. Five to eight people can use this wash station at a time with the different bowl diameter sizes 36 inch and 54 inch. If youre looking for a circular wash fountain that is ADA compliant, this shallow bowl wash fountain in its standard height with hand or infrared control follows the ADA regulations. This wash fountain is vandal resistant so even in areas that sees high-traffic or is prone to vandalism; you will find that this wash fountain is easy to clean. You will also find that this circular wash fountain conserves water, energy, and space. We ship this circular wash fountain pre-assembled for your convenience.

Energy Efficient Hand Wash Fountains

Our 36 inch Circular Wash Fountain is made with Terreon and has a 7 inch deep bowl. There are 14 different colors for you to choose from so youre sure to find the one that matches your laboratory. This circular wash fountain comes pre-assembled so installation is quick and easy. Not only is the Terreon Circular Wash Fountain ADA compliant, but it is constructed to use less water, energy, and space compared to conventional faucets.

Industrial and Laboratory Hand Wash Fountains

Circular wash fountains are convenient to have in areas that have multiple people needing to wash their hands at the same time. Instead of having individual sinks that take up space needed for other equipment, our circular wash fountains are designed to take up less room while being able to accommodate the amount of people you need it to. The different diameter in bowls allow you to have room for the amount of people that are to use the circular wash fountain while the two height choices give you even more flexibility to find the best fit for the room the wash fountain will be located in.

About the Author:

XPB Locker

. Read more about

commercial multi-user hand wash fountains.



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