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Witnesses saw truck “rev up and race” before recent Texas oil refinery blast

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Witnesses saw truck “rev up and race” before recent Texas oil refinery blast

Friday, April 1, 2005File:Map of USA highlighting Texas.png

Witnesses say a truck was idling near the scene of an explosion at a Texas refinery which killed 15 and injured over 100 others on March 23, according to U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Manager Bill Hoyle.

“Witnesses saw vapor in the area of the truck and observed the engine begin to rev up and race,” Hoyle’s statement said. “This behavior by a diesel engine indicates the presence of a flammable atmosphere entering the air intake. A driver reported trying to shut off the engine but was unable to do so.” Hoyle’s statement continued, “There are multiple possible sources of ignition in an operating refinery unit and we have made no determination about the ignition source at this time.”

The investigation has been delayed by BP and Occupational Safety & Health Administration officials, who are trying to preserve evidence at the site for their investigation. They are also concerned about further injuries from hazards left over from the explosion, such as falling debris and unstable structures. The Environment Protection Agency also detected benzene in the atmosphere over the plant, which was treated with a layer of foam.

BP has retained control of the plant since the March 23 accident. Police arrived quickly the day of the explosion, but left after the initial emergency was over.

“Our officers could respond over there, but they don’t have a clue,” Texas City police Sgt. Curtis Pope told the Houston Chronicle. “The fact is they have chemical and equipment hazards. We don’t know the chemicals.”

Cars big winner as 34th Annual Annie Awards handed out

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Cars big winner as 34th Annual Annie Awards handed out

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cars drove home the big prize last night, from the 34th Annual Annie Awards. The animation industry’s highest honor, ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annies recognise contributions to animation, writing, directing, storyboarding, voice acting, composing, and much more.

As mentioned, Pixar took home the big prize last night, after facing stiff competition from four other Happy Feet, Monster House, Open Season, and Over the Hedge.

But the biggest winner of the night didn’t get a “Best Animated Feature” nod at all. Flushed Away won five feature animation categories including Animated Effects (Scott Cegielski), Character Animation (Gabe Hordos), Production Design (Pierre-Olivier Vincent), Voice Acting (Sir Ian McKellan as Toad), Writing (Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Chris Lloyd, Joe Keenan, and Will Davies).

Over The Hedge won awards for Directing (Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick), Storyboarding (Gary Graham), and Character Design (Nicolas Marlet).

Of little surprise, Randy Newman won an Annie for Cars in the “Music in an Animated Feature Production” category. Newman has won many Oscars for his movie music, and has a nomination this year for the song “Our Town”. Newman didn’t attend the Annies, instead picking up a Grammy for “Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media”.

DisneyToon Studios’ Bambi II won “Best Home Entertainment Production”, while “Best Animated Short Subject” went to Blue Sky Studios’ No Time For Nuts, which is based on Ice Age.

“Best Animated Video Game” went to Flushed Away The Game, while a United Airlines ad named “Dragon” won a “Best Animated Television Commercial” Annie for DUCK Studios.

Contents

  • 1 Foster an Annie fav on TV
  • 2 Wikinews was there
  • 3 Related news
  • 4 Sources

News briefs:August 6, 2010

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News briefs:August 6, 2010
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Three dead in murder-suicide shooting at Southern California fast food restaurant

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Three dead in murder-suicide shooting at Southern California fast food restaurant

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A 6-year-old boy and his father were shot and killed Saturday afternoon while eating inside a busy Del Taco fast food restaurant in San Bernadino, California, before the shooter turned a gun on himself.

According to the San Bernadino Police Department, 56-year-old Jimmy Schlager arrived at the Del Taco at 1:15pm PST (2015 UTC) on a bicycle, and, armed with two semi-automatic guns, entered the restaurant and opened fire on a family of four who were dining together. The employees and other customers all ran out of the restaurant and escaped without injury.

The father of the family, identified as 33-year-old Alex Trujillo, was declared dead at the scene, said the San Bernadino Fire Department. His wife and two sons were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center in critical condition. His 6-year-old son, Adrian, died shortly after. The victims each suffered two bullet wounds, except the mother, who police say received up to ten gunshots. The names of the 29-year-old woman and her 5-year-old son have not been released. Both remained in critical condition on Saturday night.

After shooting the family, Schlager, later identified as the woman’s step-father, shot himself in the head. He was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he later died from the self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Police said Schlager had previously been arrested a number of times, on charges that included theft and assault with a deadly weapon.

NASA prepares to launch mission to nearby asteroids

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NASA prepares to launch mission to nearby asteroids

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

NASA is beginning the final preparations for next Wednesday’s launch of the Dawn probe, aboard a Delta II rocket. The Dawn probe, costing over US$250 million, will visit the dwarf planet Ceres and the asteroid Vesta. The launch was originally planned for mid-June, however due to a damaged crate, shipping delays, and a damaged solar panel, NASA chose to delay it until now. Last week the spacecraft was delivered to the launch pad, and engineers performed tests to ensure that it is ready for launch. Today, the payload fairings were installed, and the probe is ready for its launch next week onto its 5 billion kilometer (3.2 billion mile) mission.

As the Delta II launches, three stages of rockets will propel the probe towards its first target. With the help of ion thrusters, it will reach Mars in mid-2009. Using Mars’ gravity, the probe will speed up and proceed towards the first asteroid, Vesta, in late 2011. After orbiting for seven months, it will leave Vesta in mid-2012, and arrive at Ceres in 2015. After making scans of Ceres, it will enter an orbit around Ceres that will ensure that it does not impact the asteroid for half a century. This is required due to the United Nations’ “Outer Space Treaty”, which states that “harmful contamination” of these asteroids must be avoided.

The targets of this mission, Ceres and Vesta, couldn’t be less alike. Ceres (diameter 975 km, 600 miles) is larger than Vesta (578 km, 350 miles). This makes Ceres approximately the size of Texas. NASA believes Ceres could contain water beneath its outer crust because, like Earth, its inner layers are heavier than the outer layers, and Ceres’ outer layer is lighter than water. Vesta, on the other hand, is the size of Arizona, and has a surface of volcanic rock, which astronomers believe came from its hot inner layers. Vesta also has a large crater – almost 500 km (300 miles) across – on its southern pole. The collision that caused this likely blasted enough rock into space to fill a container 160 by 160 by 80 km (100 by 100 by 50 miles).

The probe will make several observations of these asteroids: it will compare the makeup, shape, size, and densities, analyze craters, and determine mass, gravity, rotation. To determine the makeup, the probe carries a mapping spectrometer, and tools to map emissions of neutrons and gamma rays. Using this information, NASA can compare the formation of these bodies to learn more about our solar system, for example, to test a theory which states that a number of stony meteorites may be debris from Vesta.

There’s one more piece of equipment aboard the probe: A small silicon chip containing the names of 350,000 people who submitted their names to the “Send Your Name to the Asteroid Belt” campaign. After next week’s launch, the spacecraft will deploy its solar panels and undergo two months of testing before it begins the cruise to Mars.

Boxing great Muhammed Ali dies aged 74

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Boxing great Muhammed Ali dies aged 74

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Legendary boxing great Muhammed Ali died on Friday aged 74 in a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States. A family spokesperson said Ali had been admitted with respiratory problems. The former heavyweight champion lived with Parkinson’s disease for decades, diagnosed in 1984.

Born on January 17, 1942 as Cassius Marcellus Clay, he changed his name to Muhammed Ali after his 1964 conversion to Islam. In his professional career, Ali won 56 out of 61 fights — including 31 consecutive wins. He won the World Heavyweight Championship three times and had also won an Olympic gold medal in the light-heavyweight category.

Often considered the greatest boxer of all time, Ali was the world heavyweight champion in the 1960s and 1970s. His famous fights with George Foreman in 1974 when he won his title back and against Joe Frazier are considered by many as two of the greatest fights in the sport’s history. Ali had also defeated Sonny Liston to claim the championship title.

Ali was also known as a political activist. He came under considerable controversy after his decision to refuse the Vietnam War draft.

He lit the flame in the 1996 Olympics hosted in Atlanta.

His funeral is to be in Kentucky.

Telstra becomes the first in the world to switch to HSPA+ wireless Internet technology

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Telstra becomes the first in the world to switch to HSPA+ wireless Internet technology
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On Monday, Australian telecommunications company Telstra has introduced dual carrier HSPA+ standard for broadband Internet business customers in the Next G network. This is the first time this technology is being introduced on national scale. The bandwidths the users can deploy increased into two to three times, with Telstra becoming the world’s fastest national mobile broadband service. The switch started with enabling the service for premium users. After some feedback, Telstra may expand the plan.

Contents

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Technology
  • 3 Election campaign
  • 4 Distribution
  • 5 Sources
  • 6 External links

The higher speeds for wireless are intended to simplify and ease multitasking of users.

John Paitaridis, Telstra’s executive director, network products and services in Enterprise & Government, said “One of the reasons we decided to launch first to Enterprise And Government and Business customers is that clients are saying that their ability to access applications quicker makes a difference to their business and when they start to equate time savings and doing calculations around productivity it does become a return on investment.”

Telstra Business Group Managing Director Deena Shiff also stated that the efforts aren’t as sudden as it might seem, having feedback of many users as the base.

Australians are telling us they can’t afford to be tied to the desk all day and these new speeds mean they can now access mobile broadband at speeds typically reserved for the office. We have been deploying the high-speed capability in the network since December 2009 and now, with the launch of the new Ultimate USB Modem, these new speeds are available to customers across all capital city CBDs and associated airports, selected metropolitan areas and in more than 100 regional locations. These high-speed zones cover approximately 50 per cent of the Australian population and match the areas of highest customer demand and will make the frustration of waiting around for files to download a thing of the past. In other metropolitan and regional areas, the Telstra Ultimate USB Modem offers typical download speeds ranging from 550kbps up to 8Mbps… Our customers have told us that they want higher speed mobile broadband so they can work more flexibly outside of the office and we are delighted to be the first in the world to offer these new blistering speeds on a national network. The new Telstra Ultimate USB Modem provides customers with the speeds needed to handle large files, multi-task and update cloud-hosted applications effortlessly on the go when they are in a coverage area.

Previous modems were able to reach peak speed 21Mbps, with real life speeds ranging from 0.5Mbps to 8 Mbps. The theoretically expected maximum of the new technology is 42Mbps with user speeds varying between 1.1 and 20 Mbps. The new speed is twice as fast. This is caused by that the dual-carrier “Evolved High-Speed Packet Access” technology allows networks to send and receive wireless data using two channels simultaneously. This technology can be deployed on Next G networks. Telstra switched to them in February, thus making the switch to HSPA possible now.

Telstra delayed the implementation of the new technology until elections end. This decision was intended to avoid wrong interpretation of them by Coalition. Coalition’s claims include that wireless networks can be an alternative to the Labor party “fibre-to-the-home” proposal to introduce more expensive wired Internet. The announcement of the new technology, initially planned on August 25, was delayed, with Telstra spokesman Craig Middleton explaining, “We just didn’t want to feel like we were influencing the [telecommunications] debate.”

The political parties have different plans on development and funds on the Internet. The Labor party aims to spend AUD 43 billion to bring 1 Gbps wired Internet nationwide, and the Coalition plans to spend AUD 6 billion to introduce a variety of improvements including upgrade of existing copper Internet as well as expansion of wireless Internet to support 12Mbps. Opposition leader Tony Abbott has said in the past that Australians shouldn’t assume wireless technologies won’t ever be comparable to fixed-line technology. Telstra’s upgrade shows that wireless broadband is reaching the 100 Mbps minimum speeds promised by Labor’s national broadband network.

Telstra has only 2000 devices which support the new technology. This is why the opportunity to try it out is being given only to the Business plan customers, and they receive it for the same price as they were paying for the previous NextG plan. Since October 5, the device will be available for sale, with the Business customers able to buy it with 75% discount and a prepaid data allowance. The upgrade is expected to cover roughly 50% of the population. This is happening at the same time as one of Telstra’s competitors Vodafone is doubling data download quotas on mobile cap plans.

As some testing showed, real life download speeds reached only about the half of the maximum. Telstra executive director of wireless Mike Wright explained that the predicted figures were the estimates, with real life speeds lower due to interfering environmental conditions: “It’s possible to achieve better than the typical user speed claims, but those claims occur in the ideal network environment with good signal quality. When you’re out on the streets you get a lot of variation where the network is subject to signal quality, your location and the network load.”

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Wikinews Shorts: June 4, 2007

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Wikinews Shorts: June 4, 2007
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, June 4, 2007.

MediaCorp Radio in Singapore has been fined 15,000 Singaporean dollars (US$9,800) over an on-air stunt in March in which female guests on a radio show were asked to remove their brassieres, and pose for video that was to be posted on the station’s website and on YouTube.

The Media Development Authority said the radio show’s hosts made improper and sexually suggestive remarks about “how fast the bras were removed, as well as the color, design and cup size of the bras, and the size of the girls’ breasts.”

Sources


Researchers at University of Malaya say they have developed an erectile dysfunction cure from walnut extract.

“It takes about an hour for the effects to set in and it will last for about four hours,” said Professor Dr. Kim Kah Hwi of the Faculty of Medicine Physiology.

So far, 40 volunteers have tried the Viagra alternative, called “N-Hanz”, with positive results, Kim said. To make one pill, it takes about 3.3 kilograms (about 7 pounds) of walnuts.

Sources


An 8-year-old Indonesian boy died after being attacked on Saturday by a Komodo Dragon at Komodo National Park on Komodo.

The boy was attacked while making a toilet stop in a bush, a park official said. “The dragon bit his waist, tossed him and dragged him. His right leg was badly scratched,” park spokesman Heru Rudiharto said. The boy then bled to death.

Attacks by Dragons on humans are rare, though the reptiles, which can grow to a length of 3 meters (9 feet), regularly kill such prey as pigs and small deer. Komodo Dragons are an endangered and protected species, and about 2,000 of them live in the wild, mainly on Komodo and nearby Rinca island.

Sources


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2008 YODEX Review: Varied competitions, Vast creations

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2008 YODEX Review: Varied competitions, Vast creations
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Monday, May 26, 2008

The 27th Young Designers’ Exhibition 2008, recognized by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) as the largest show of student creations, recently ended Sunday May 18. It was held at the Taipei World Trade Center. Improvements and expansions were seen with 107 academical and industrial units. Different design competitions participated and showcased their products and also received awards.

It’s no doubt that companies related to design and cultural industries want to discover creative talents from academical units in this exhibition. However, most companies still try to showcase different conceptional and applicative products in order to promote Taiwan’s designs into the world market. A typical example is Fora Series, a photo-voltaic product series by the Tsann Kuen Trans-nation Group.

Before entering into their careers, students participated in this show and showcased varied styles that differ from the usual industrial businesspeople. To get more opportunities and in order to interact with the design and cultural industries, students also participated in vast competitions and tried to get the top places. Some students also tried to design conceptional products in conjunction with industrial designs, especially in some design competitions.

In summary, not only did the 2008 YODEX, have companies which can discover talents and showcase achievements of industrial design in the exhibition, but students can make their stages to showcase excellences from their creations in several competitions related to YODEX.

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Brazilian President Lula met Chavez, military and economic cooperation

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Brazilian President Lula met Chavez, military and economic cooperation
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Thursday, February 17, 2005

CARACAS, Venezuela –The Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on February 14, 2005 in Caracas, Venezuela. Brazil and Venezuela signed agreements of cooperation on many areas. According to the Brazilian government this was a strategical encounteur. This meeting is the first of three meetings that President Lula will have with South American Presidents in three days. The scheduled meetings are with the presidents of: Venezuela (February, 14), Guiana (February, 15) and Suriname (February, 16).

President Lula was accompanied by the following comitiva: the Minister of Development, Industry, and External Trade Luiz Fernando Furlan, the Minister of Finance Antônio Palocci, the Minister of Foreign Relations Celso Amorim, the Minister of Health Humberto Costa, the Minister of Mines and Energy Dilma Roussef, the Minister of Tourism Walfrido Mares Guia, the President of Petrobras José Eduardo Dutra, the President of National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) Guido Mantega, the President of Eletrobrás Silas Rondeau Cavalcante Silva and the Special Secretary for Aquaculture and Fisheries José Fritsch. In addition a delegation of executives representing enterprises from Brazil accompanied the President.

The Brazilian Ministry of External Relations told the trip aims the construction of a strategical alliance and commercial integration between both countries. The Brazilian Presidential Advisor Marco Aurélio Garcia said:”With this gesture, Brazil will consolidate one of its major political goals, which is the constitution of a South American community of nations”. He added: “These agreements with Venezuela are strategical. We want this agreement as a model for other agreements in the region.”

According to President Lula the integration of the Latin America is the priority number one of his government. Days before the arrival in Venezuela and commenting about the trip Lula said: “We’re going to do the same thing in Colombia and in other countries in which integration is no longer a campaign speech but part of the way we deal with real things, day to day”.

The integration of the Latin America is the politics repeatedly proposed by Lula during the meetings of the Foro de São Paulo. According to him and the others members of the Foro there must be a integration among all the left parties and governments of Latin America. The union aims to be an alternative and opposing force to the politics and influence of the richest countries, mainly the United States. Among the organizations which are usually participants of the Foro de São Paulo are: Communist Party of Cuba, Colombian Communist Party, Communist Party of Bolivia, Communist Party of Brazil, Workers’ Party, Paraguayan Communist Party, Peruvian Communist Party, Socialist Party of Peru, National Liberation Army, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity, Tupamaros.

On December 4, 2001 during the 10th edition of the Foro de São Paulo in Havana Lula said:”A shoal of small fish may mean the finishing of the hungry in our countries, in out continent. We should not think as the History ended on our journey by the Earth. Even it happens just once, or with one gesture, let’s effectively contribute to the improve the life of millions of human beings who live socially excluded by this neoliberal model.”[1]

In Venezuela, once again, he brought out the integration wish: “This is the biggest dream I am carrying, that we can negotiate collectively, not like one country, but like a set of countries so we can do that our people may have the chance to conquer the full citizenship.”

Contents

  • 1 Economic cooperation
  • 2 Military cooperation
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
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