Endangered Luzon Buttonquail photographed alive by Philippines documentary

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Endangered Luzon Buttonquail photographed alive by Philippines documentary
By mYCZNbxh On May 28th, 2018

Sunday, February 22, 2009

According to ornithologists, a rare Philippines buttonquail feared to have gone extinct was recently documented alive by a cameraman inadvertently filming a local market, right before it was sold and headed for the cooking pot. Scientists had suspected the species—listed as “data deficient” on the 2008 International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List Category—was extinct.

Last month, native bird trappers snared and successfully caught the Luzon Buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri or Worcester’s buttonquail) in Dalton Pass, a cold and wind-swept bird passageway in the Caraballo Mountains, in Nueva Vizcaya, located between Cordillera Central and Sierra Madre mountain ranges, in Northern Luzon.

The rare species, previously known to birders only through drawings based on dead museum specimens collected several decades ago, was identified in a documentary filmed in the Philippines called Bye-Bye Birdie.

British birder and WBCP member Desmond Allen was watching a January 26 DVD-video of a documentary, Bye-Bye Birdie, when he recognized the bird in a still image of the credits that lasted less than a second. Allen created a screenshot, which was photographed by their birder-companion, Arnel Telesforo, also a WBCP member,in Nueva Vizcaya’s poultry market, before it was cooked and eaten.

i-Witness: The GMA Documentaries, a Philippine documentary news and public affairs television show aired by GMA Network, had incorporated Telesforo’s photographs and video footage of the live bird in the documentary, that was created by the TV crew led by Mr Howie Severino. The Philippine Network had not realized what they filmed until Allen had informed the crew of interesting discovery.

Mr Severino and the crew were at that time, in Dalton Pass to film “akik”, the traditional practice of trapping wild birds with nets by first attracting them with bright lights on moonless nights. “I’m shocked. I don’t know of any other photos of this. No bird watchers have ever given convincing reports that they have seen it at all… This is an exciting discovery,” said Allen.

The Luzon Buttonquail was only known through an illustration in the authoritative book by Robert S. Kennedy, et al, A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines. This birders “bible” includes a drawing based on the skins of dead specimens collected a century ago, whereas the otherwise comprehensive image bank of the Oriental Bird Club does not contain a single image of the Worcester’s Buttonquail.

“With the photograph and the promise of more sightings in the wild, we can see the living bill, the eye color, the feathers, rather than just the mushed-up museum skin,” exclaimed Allen, who has been birdwatching for fifty years, fifteen in the Philippines, and has an extensive collection of bird calls on his ipod. He has also spotted the Oriental (or Manchurian) Bush Warbler, another rare bird which he has not seen in the Philippines.

“We are ecstatic that this rarely seen species was photographed by accident. It may be the only photo of this poorly known bird. But I also feel sad that the locals do not value the biodiversity around them and that this bird was sold for only P10 and headed for the cooking pot,” Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) president Mike Lu said. “Much more has to be done in creating conservation awareness and local consciousness about our unique threatened bird fauna. This should be an easy task for the local governments assisted by the DENR. What if this was the last of its species?” Lu added.

“This is a very important finding. Once you don’t see a bird species in a generation, you start to wonder if it’s extinct, and for this bird species we simply do not know its status at all,” said Arne Jensen, a Danish ornithologist and biodiversity expert, and WBCP Records Committee head.

According to the WBCP, the Worcester’s buttonquail was first described based on specimens bought in Quinta Market in Quiapo, Manila in 1902, and was named after Dean Conant Worcester.

Since then just a few single specimens have been photographed and filmed from Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet, and lately, in 2007, from Mountain Province by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois.

Dean Conant Worcester, D.Sc., F.R.G.S. was an American zoologist, public official, and authority on the Philippines, born at Thetford, Vermont, and educated at the University of Michigan (A.B., 1889).

From 1899 to 1901 he was a member of the United States Philippine Commission; thenceforth until 1913 he served as secretary of the interior for the Philippine Insular Government. In 1910, he founded the Philippine General Hospital, which has become the hospital for the poor and the sick.

In October, 2004, at the request of Mr Moises Butic, Lamut CENR Officer, Mr Jon Hornbuckle, of Grove Road, Sheffield, has conducted a short investigation into bird-trapping in Ifugao, Mountain Province, Banaue Mount Polis, Sagada and Dalton Pass, in Nueva Vizcaya.

“Prices ranged from 100 pesos for a Fruit-Dove to 300 pesos for a Metallic Pigeon. Other species that are caught from time to time include Flame-breasted Fruit-Dove and Luzon Bleeding-heart; on one occasion, around 50 of the latter were trapped! All other trapped birds are eaten,” said Hornbuckle. “The main trapping season is November to February. Birds are caught at the lights using butterfly-catching type nets. Quails and Buttonquails were more often shot in the fields at this time, rather than caught, and occasionally included the rare Luzon (Worcester’s) Buttonquail, which is only known from dead specimens, and is a threatened bird species reported from Dalton Pass,” he added.

In August, 1929, Richard C. McGregor and Leon L. Gardner of the Cooper Ornithological Society compiled a book entitled Philippine Bird Traps. The authors described the Luzon Buttonquail as “very rare,” having only encountered it twice, once in August and once in September.

“They are caught with a scoop net from the back of a carabao. Filipino hunters snared them, baiting with branches of artificial red peppers made of sealing wax,” wrote McGregor and Leon L. Gardner. “The various ingenious and effectual devices used by Filipinos for bird-trapping include [the] ‘Teepee Trap’ which consists of a conical tepee, woven of split bamboo and rattan about 3 feet high and 3 feet across at the base, with a fairly narrow entrance. ‘Spring Snares’ were also used, where a slip noose fastened to a strongly bent bamboo or other elastic branch, which is released by a trigger, which is usually the perch of the trap,” their book explained.

A passage from the bird-trap book, which explains why Filipinos had eaten these endangered bird species, goes as follows:

Thousands of birds appear annually in the markets of the Philippine Islands. Snipe, quails, wild ducks, silvereyes, weavers, rails, Java sparrows, parrakeets, doves, fruit pigeons, and many more are found commonly. Some of these are vended in the streets as cage birds; many are sold for food. Most of them are living; practically none has been shot. How are these birds obtained? The people possess almost no firearms, and most of them could ill afford the cost of shells alone. Nevertheless, birds are readily secured and abundantly exposed for sale. In a land which does not raise enough produce to support itself, where the quest for food is the main occupation of life, where the frog in the roadside puddle is angled, the minnow in the brook seined, and the all-consuming locust itself consumed, it is not surprising (though regrettable) that birds are considered largely in the light of dietary additions.Philippine Bird Traps, by Richard C. McGregor and Leon L. Gardner, 1930 Cooper Ornithological Society

A global review of threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates drastic decline of animal and plant life. This includes a quarter of all mammals, one out of eight birds, one out of three amphibians and 70 percent of plants.

The report, Red List of Threatened Species, is published by IUCN every year. Additionally, a global assessment of the health of the world’s species is released once in four years. The data is compiled by 1,700 experts from 130 countries. The key findings of the report were announced at the World Conservation Congress held in Barcelona, Spain.

The survey includes 44,838 species of wild fauna and flora, out of which 16,928 species are threatened with extinction. Among the threatened, 3,246 are tagged critically endangered, the highest category of threat. Another 4,770 species are endangered and 8,912 vulnerable to extinction.

Environmental scientists say they have concrete evidence that the planet is undergoing the “largest mass extinction in 65 million years”. Leading environmental scientist Professor Norman Myers says the Earth is experiencing its “Sixth Extinction.”

Scientists forecast that up to five million species will be lost this century. “We are well into the opening phase of a mass extinction of species. There are about 10 million species on earth. If we carry on as we are, we could lose half of all those 10 million species,” Myers said.

Scientists are warning that by the end of this century, the planet could lose up to half its species, and that these extinctions will alter not only biological diversity but also the evolutionary processes itself. They state that human activities have brought our planet to the point of biotic crisis.

In 1993, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson estimated that the planet is losing 30,000 species per year – around three species per hour. Some biologists have begun to feel that the biodiversity crisis dubbed the “Sixth Extinction” is even more severe, and more imminent, than Wilson had expected.

The Luzon Buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri) is a species of bird in the Turnicidae family. It is endemic to the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where it is known from just six localities thereof. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, in the highlands of the Cordillera Central, although records are from 150-1,250 m, and the possibility that it frequents forested (non-grassland) habitats cannot be discounted.

The buttonquails or hemipodes are a small family of birds which resemble, but are unrelated to, the true quails. They inhabit warm grasslands in Asia, Africa, and Australia. They are assumed to be intra-island migrants, and breed somewhere in northern Luzon in April-June and that at least some birds disperse southwards in the period July-March.

These Turnicidae are small, drab, running birds, which avoid flying. The female is the more brightly coloured of the sexes, and initiates courtship. Unusually, the buttonquails are polyandrous, with the females circulating among several males and expelling rival females from her territory. Both sexes cooperate in building a nest in the earth, but only the male incubates the eggs and tends the young.

Called “Pugo” (quail) by natives, these birds inhabit rice paddies and scrub lands near farm areas because of the abundance of seeds and insects that they feed on regularly. These birds are characterized by their black heads with white spots, a brown or fawn colored body and yellow legs on males and the females are brown with white and black spots.

These birds are very secretive, choosing to make small path ways through the rice fields, which unfortunately leads to their deaths as well, they are hunted by children and young men by means of setting spring traps along their usual path ways.

Buttonquails are a notoriously cryptic and unobtrusive family of birds, and the species could conceivably occur in reasonable numbers somewhere. They are included in the 2008 IUCN Red List Category (as evaluated by BirdLife International IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). They are also considered as Vulnerable species by IUCN and BirdLife International, since these species is judged to have a ten percent chance of going extinct in the next one hundred years.

More than 80 people killed in Nice, France attack on Bastille Day

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More than 80 people killed in Nice, France attack on Bastille Day
By mYCZNbxh On May 27th, 2018

Friday, July 15, 2016

Yesterday at about 10:30 pm local time (2030 UTC) in the French city of Nice, a truck killed at least 84 people and more than 100 people were injured, at least 18 critically, who were watching fireworks on Bastille Day evening, French officials reported. The attacker was later shot dead by the police.

The attacker drove for some distance — by one report as much as 2 km (more than a mile) — through the crowd along the Promenade des Anglais. The owner of the Le Queenie Restaurant near the seaport told  France Info, “People went down like ninepins”.

Agence France-Presse reported police had discovered identity papers of a 31-year old Tunisian-Frenchman along with, according to one source, fake weapons including rifles and an “inactive” grenade.

20-year-old eyewitness Fanny told Reuters the fast-approaching truck was moving in a zigzag manner, driving in the pedestrian area. Another survivor described sheltering with others in a restaurant. An eyewitness named Nader told BFM TV he thought the driver had lost control of the truck. Later, he also saw the driver taking out a gun.

European Council President Donald Tusk said, “Tragic paradox that the subject of the Nice Attack was people celebrating liberty, equality, and fraternity”((fr))French language: C’est un tragique paradoxe que les cibles de l’attaque Nice attaque soient les gens qui célébraient liberté, égalité, fraternité.

French president François Hollande tweeted, “France is tearful, sorrowful, but she is strong and will always be more than the fanatics who now want to smite her.”((fr))French language: La France est éplorée, affligée, mais elle est forte et le sera toujours plus que les fanatiques qui veulent aujourd’hui la frapper.

A few hours before the incident, Hollande had announced the state of emergency would be lifted on July 26 after November’s Paris attack, but after this incident, he announced extending the state of emergency into October. Condemning the incident, he said, “We will further strengthen our actions in Iraq and in Syria.” He also said “operational reserves” will be called up to support the armed forces in France.

Helpline numbers:

  • 04 93 72 22 22 (Public information

((fr))French language: une cellule d’information du public)

  • 01 43 17 56 46 (Interministerial aid to victims

((fr))French language: la cellule interministerielle d’aide aux victimes)

Buying A Home With Bad Credit Get Approved With A Recent Bankruptcy Or Foreclosure

By mYCZNbxh On May 27th, 2018

By Carrie Reeder

A few years ago, if you had a bankruptcy or a foreclosure on your credit report, you could forget about trying to get a mortgage loan. If you were lucky enough to find someone who would finance you, your interest rate would be through the roof and plan on putting 10-20% down.

But today, this is not the case. There are many programs available today to help people who have recently suffered a bankruptcy or foreclosure to get a mortgage loan or mortgage refinance loan.

There are two things to do if you are in this situation:

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1. Get yourself a free copy of your credit report from all 3 major credit bureaus, look over everything, do you see any mistakes? Make sure everything included in your bankruptcy or foreclosure reports accurately on your credit report. Make sure those accounts involved in a bankruptcy or foreclosure are not showing something else like collection or charge-off.. That could make your score much lower than it needs to be. If you have a bankruptcy or foreclosure, you want everything involved to say so, so it is all under 1 circumstance, instead of many. You can dispute all errors on your credit report online nowadays. It takes about 15 minutes. You can do it right on the website of Equifax, TransUnion or Experian.

2. Once you have checked your credit reports, apply only to places that submit your application to many lenders. Every time your credit report is pulled, it will knock your credit score down a little. If you apply to a mortgage service that will submit your application to many lenders, then you only have one credit inquiry and can receive offers from up to 4 lenders per application.

Frequently asked questions are:

1. Will I have to make a large down payment? Not necessarily. If you can get your credit score above a 600, you should easily be able to get 100% financing, even if it has been less than two years since your bankruptcy or foreclosure. If your score is above a 580, you might still be able to qualify for 100% financing.

2. What kind of interest rate can I expect? Depending on your credit score and whether you have any down payment or not, I have heard of situations with a credit score as low as 585 with no down payment and an interest rate as low as 7.25%. That was quoted in March of 2005.

3. Can I get cash out? On a purchase, not likely. On a refinance, depending on your amount of equity, that is very possible.

About the Author: To see a list of recommended bad credit mortgage loan companies online, visit this page: abcloanguide.com/lessthanperfectcredit.shtml – Carrie Reeder is the owner of ABC Loan Guide. It is an informational loan website, with informative articles and the latest finance news.

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=4838&ca=Finances

250 Young Quakers to light up lake

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250 Young Quakers to light up lake
By mYCZNbxh On May 27th, 2018
Quakers Front page – Quaker’s workspace – How to write an article

Friday, July 22, 2005

Hundreds of floating candles will be launched by young Quakers to mark Hiroshima Day at 9:00 p.m. GMT on Friday August 5.

The event will be held at the University of York towards the end of the annual Quaker Yearly Meeting where over 1600 Quakers are meeting.

The bombing of Hiroshima took place 60 years ago at 08:16am, Japanese time on August 6, 1945.

Throughout the week leading up to the Hiroshima day witness on August 5, young Quakers will be planning, organising and preparing the event, including contacting the local community and the media.

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2010 Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure becomes world’s largest Komen race

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2010 Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure becomes world’s largest Komen race
By mYCZNbxh On May 26th, 2018

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The 2010 Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, held earlier today in St. Louis, Missouri, became the world’s largest Race for the Cure, with over 71,000 participants.

2010 marks the twelfth year for the race in St. Louis, which raises money for breast cancer research nationwide. Originally brought to the city in 1999, it has raised over US$19 million. It was sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors, a locally-headquartered brokerage firm of the financial services provider Wells Fargo. Nationally, the Race for the Cure is hosted by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a non-profit organization supporting breast cancer research.

In 1999, there were only about 10,000 participants in the St. Louis Race for the Cure. In recent years, the number has grown to over 60,000, and today’s 5K race saw over 71,000 runners, walkers, and wheelchair racers. Despite the heat and humidity, 1,090 teams signed up, and over 4,500 breast cancer survivors participated. Overall, the race raised more than US$3.3 million. A phone bank set up by Wells Fargo and local television station KSDK contributed over US$28,000 of that amount in four hours.

Prior to the race, there was a parade of all the breast cancer survivors who had signed up for the race. The actual competition began at 8:30 a.m. CDT (1330 UTC) with the wheelchair race. Following them were the timed runners, the untimed runners, the walkers, and lastly, the “fun walk” participants, who had only opted to walk one mile (1.6 kilometres).

The Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure is only one of many Races for the Cure, which is the largest group of 5K runs and walks in the world. The first Komen race was held in 1983 in Dallas, Texas, but has since spread to over 140 cities throughout the world. Proceeds from today’s St. Louis race will benefit both local institutions and the rest of the United States. At least 25 percent of the money raised will go toward funding national research on breast cancer, while the rest will be given to organizations in St. Louis for breast cancer awareness programs.

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State Farm Insurance allegedly destroying papers

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State Farm Insurance allegedly destroying papers
By mYCZNbxh On May 26th, 2018

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Zach Scruggs, a lawyer for United States Senator Trent Lott, says that State Farm Insurance Company is destroying records related to claims for damage from Hurricane Katrina.

The records allegedly contain information saying that State Farm fraudulently denied insurance claims made by its policy holders, including Lott, that had homes there were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the Gulf Coast.

Scruggs said that Lott has “good faith belief” that many employees of the insurance company in Biloxi, Mississippi are destroying engineer’s reports that were inconclusive as to whether or not water or wind was the main cause of damage to the buildings affected by the hurricane.

Lott is among thousands of home and/or business owners who had their property damaged or destroyed during the hurricane and had their claims denied because State Farm claimed that their policies don’t cover damage caused by floods or water that was driven by the wind.

State Farm has not issued a statement on the matter so far.

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Is Duct Cleaning Really Necessary?

By mYCZNbxh On May 26th, 2018

Get More Information Here:

byAlma Abell

Home owners who have forced air heating and cooling systems will also have duct-work in their homes, and this is something that they need to look after. For instance, they need to be cleaned regularly, which is something that many people don’t think about, because the ducts aren’t something they look at regularly. Basically, duct work acts as a filter. Air moves through it, and dust particles stay in the ducts. After a while, the dust and debris will start to build up, and will cause the air to work harder, and end up pushing dirt into the airstream. The longer this goes on, the less the duct-work actually filters the air, which can lead to many problems, including health issues.

There are many benefits of duct cleaning. For one thing, it is going to greatly improve the air quality in the home. When air quality is poor, it can cause breathing issues, which can eventually lead to serious health problems, including asthma. It is especially important to have clean ducts if there is anyone in the home who suffers from allergies, as symptoms can get worse. Other benefits of having clean ducts include:

* Limiting mold growth -; When ducts are dirty, mold can build up, and this is extremely dangerous for those living in the home. This mold can’t be seen, as it is inside the ducts, so many people don’t even realize that they have mold.

* Removal of vermin -; Mice, insects, and other small animals try to get inside during the colder months, and they often get into duct work. If they die, the smell they leave behind can get pretty horrible, and the decomposition can get into the air, causing health problems for residents. When cleaning is done, these creatures are found and removed from the ducts.

* Save Energy -; When air isn’t flowing freely, the heating and cooling system must work harder. This means that it will take more energy, costing more money. When the ducts are clean, home owners usually find that their energy bills go down a bit.

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United Nations Report: Deserts threatened by global warming

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United Nations Report: Deserts threatened by global warming
By mYCZNbxh On May 25th, 2018

Monday, June 5, 2006

A new report, titled “Global Deserts Outlook,” has been released on World Environment Day by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The report suggests that the world’s deserts face dramatic changes as a result of global climate change: high water demands, tourism and salt contamination of irrigated soils. Desert margins and mountainous areas within deserts that have been important for people, wildlife and water supplies for millennia, are under particular threat, say UNEP.

2006 is the United Nations‘ International Year of Deserts and Desertification. Yet deserts could become the “carbon-free power houses of the 21st century,” some experts believe. They argue an area 800 by 800 km of desert, such as the Sahara, could capture the solar energy to generate all the world’s electricity needs – and more.

The report, prepared by experts from across the globe, flags options that may help governments and relevant bodies deliver a more sustainable future for the Earth’s desert regions.

“There are many popular and sometimes misplaced views of deserts which this report either confirms or overturns. Far from being barren wastelands, they emerge as biologically, economically and culturally dynamic while being increasingly subject to the impacts and pressures of the modern world,” said Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP’s Officer in Charge and Deputy Executive Director.

“If the huge, solar-power potential of deserts can be economically harnessed the world has a future free from fossil fuels. And tourism based around desert nature can, if sensitively managed, deliver new prospects and perspectives for people in some of the poorest parts of the world,” said Mr Kakakhel.

Almost one-quarter of the earth’s land surface – some 33.7 million square kilometres – has been defined as “desert” in some sense. These deserts are inhabited by over 500 million people, significantly more than previously thought. In many parts of the world desert cores remain pristine, representing some of the planet’s “last remaining areas of total wilderness,” stated the UNEP in a news release.

Desert species are on the brink of extinction the Global Deserts Outlook reports. At risk animals include various species of Gazelle, Oryx, Addax, Arabian Tahr and the Barbary sheep as well as one of the falconers favourite prey, the Houbara. “At greatest risk are the few patches of dry woodlands associated with desert mountain habitats which may decline by up to 3.5 per cent per year,” said the study.

As a result of their valuable water supplies being diverted to domestic or agricultural use, desert wetlands, fed by the large rivers crossing deserts, are probably the most threatened ecosystem. Probable impacts include those created by roads, settlement expansion and other infrastructure developments around areas of desert montane. By 2050 the report estimates that desert wilderness – those areas where there are no nearby roads – will decline from just under 60 per cent of the current total desert area to just over 30 per cent.

The pharmaceutical potential of desert plants has yet to be tapped, suggests the report. Scientists across the globe are analysing many desert plants for potential medicinal compounds – including anti-cancer and anti-malarial substances, antioxidants, as well as appetite suppressants.

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Ukraine opposition candidate Yushchenko is suffering from a Dioxin intoxication, doctors say

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Ukraine opposition candidate Yushchenko is suffering from a Dioxin intoxication, doctors say
By mYCZNbxh On May 25th, 2018

Saturday, December 11, 2004

VIENNA –Doctors from the Rudolfinerhaus clinic in Vienna say “there is no doubt” Ukrainian opposition leader Victor Yushchenko was poisoned with Dioxin.

Yushchenko’s body had about 1,000 times more than the normal concentration of the toxin. It is unknown if there were any other poisons in his system.

Although it has not yet been proven that the poisoning was deliberate, doctors suspect it was. “We suspect a cause triggered by a third party,” said Michael Zimpfer, head doctor at the Rudolfinerhaus clinic. He suggested the poison may have been administered orally, through food or drink.

Today’s announcements are a follow-up of an earlier press conference, where Dr. Korpan that there were three hypotheses under consideration, one of them involving dioxin. He did not reveal what the other two hypotheses were. Dr. Michael Zimpfer, director of the Rudolfinerhaus clinic emphasized that time there was no proof yet to specify the substance causing the illness.

Yushchenko left Kiev on Friday (2004-10-12) for further examination in Vienna. When Yushchenko fell ill on October 6th, Ukrainian doctors had initially diagnosed food poisoning, leading to speculation that he had been poisoned deliberately. The illness has disfigured Yushchenko’s body and face which doctors say could take up to two years to heal.

He fell seriously ill on the September 6th, during his presidential campaign. Yushchenko was taken to the Rudolfinerhaus clinic of Vienna, where he stayed for four days under Dr. Korpan’s care. He was diagnosed with “acute pancreatitis, accompanied by interstitial edematous changes.” These symptoms were said to be due to “a serious viral infection and chemical substances which are not normally found in food products” as his campaign officials put it. In laymans terms, he developed an infection in the pancreas and got a bad skin condition that disfigured his face with cysts and lesions. The skin condition has similarities with the chloracne associated with dioxin posioning according to a British toxicologist John Henry.

Earlier, doctor Nikolai Korpan of Rudolfinerhaus clinic confirmed today that the illness of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was caused by an attempt to kill him.

  • Ukraine political crisis – Wikinews’ special coverage portal

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Wikinews Shorts: November 13, 2008

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Wikinews Shorts: November 13, 2008
By mYCZNbxh On May 25th, 2018

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, November 13, 2008.

Contents

  • 1 Study shows that carrying excess fat around waist increases risk of early death
  • 2 EU abolishes rules banning oddly-shaped fruit
  • 3 Vase bought for £1 sells for £32,450
  • 4 Blackwater may pay financial penalties for improper arms shipments
 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

A new study has found that people storing extra fat around their waist have a strongly increased chance of early death, even if their overall weight is average. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine today, found that for each addition 5 cm on the waist, the chance of early death is increased by between 13% and 17%.

In the study, 360,000 people from across nine countries in Europe were surveyed.

One of the study’s authors, Professor Elio Riboli of Imperial College London, commented on the findings. “We were surprised to see the waist size having such a powerful effect on people’s health and premature death,” he stated.

Sources


The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has today lifted its ban on unusually shaped fruits and vegetables, in what the EU’s agriculture commissioner has called “a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot”.

The regulation has previously been criticized as an example of the EU’s bureaucracy by critics of the organisation.

The products affected by the deregulation are apricots, artichokes, asparagus, aubergines, avocadoes, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, cherries, courgettes, cucumbers, cultivated mushrooms, garlic, hazelnuts in shell, headed cabbage, leeks, melons, onions, peas, plums, ribbed celery, spinach, walnuts in shell, water melons and witloof/chicory.

Sources


A vase purchased at a car boot sale for £1 has sold for £32,450, following advice from experts on the BBC‘s Antiques Roadshow television program. The vase was sold in an auction at Christie’s.

The vase was found to be a 1929 work made by the French designer Rene Lalique.

Sources


Recent anonymous press briefings by US State Department officials indicated that its arms control division may punish Blackwater Worldwide for improper paperwork.

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has the power to fine or agree voluntary penalties with exporters of certain weapons, who do not follow correct procedures. Blackwater Worldwide, a private military company, exported automatic weapons to Iraq that became the subject of a federal investigation first disclosed in 2007.Concern was expressed by the unnamed officials that paperwork errors may make the weapons untraceable, and that some reached Iraq’s black market.

Sources


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