UK public sector workers strike over pension rights

Posted September 21st, 2018 by e76yKR

Wednesday, March 29, 2006Local Government workers in the UK withdrew their labour yesterday as part of a dispute over pension entitlements. The members of 11 different trades unions were involved in the 24hr strike. As the day began they declared that support for the strike was solid. Although the strikers work for local councils, their pay and conditions are agreed nationally. The Local Government Association which represents the local councils in England and Wales declared predictions that 1.5 million people would stay away from work as “wildly optimistic”.

The Unions’ complaint is that local government workers are being treated unfavourably compared to other public sector employees. They say that agreements on pensions that have been reached with civil servants, teachers and health workers will allow those staff to continue to retire at 60 while local government staff will be forced to work until they are 65. Civil servants work for national government, teachers work for local councils but have their own pension arrangements and most health workers are employed by the state-controlled National Health Service.

The Local Government Association claims that if council workers continue to be able to retire at 60, it will increase the levels of Council Tax (a tax on people living in properties which funds a proportion of local government expenditure) by 2%.

The striking workers provide a wide range of services from assisting teachers in the class room, through inspecting kitchens for hygiene to provising care to the vulnerable in society. In some places council workers collect tolls for road tunnels or manage ferries. Mainstream media have reported on the strike all day with heavy coverage of disruption to commuters where transport has been affected. The unions have emphasised the large number of their members who are women working in low paid jobs.

The Government which regulates the scheme claimed that the early retirement provisions (called the rule of 85) were age-discriminatory and had to be removed.

The strike ended at midnight. The Unions have not declared any further strike days.

The Unions involved were AEP, AMICUS, CYWU, GMB, NAPO, NIPSA, NUJ, NUT, TGWU, UCATT and UNISON.

wanker

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

David Vitter, a Republican United States Senator from Louisiana, has earmarked US$100,000 for Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), a conservative creationist organization. Vitter put the earmark into the labor, health and education financing bill for fiscal year 2008. The bill specifies the Louisiana Family Forum received the money “to develop a plan to promote better science education.”

Vitter has close ties to the LFF through Dan Richey, a former politician and the group’s grass-roots coordinator, who received $17,250 as a consultant in Vitter’s 2004 Senate race. Also Vitter’s campaign paid Beryl Amedee who is the education resource council chairwoman for the Louisiana Family Forum.

As part of the Louisiana Family Forum efforts to “combat” the teaching of evolution, the group included Kent Hovind‘s “Battle Plan” on its website. Hovind, whose education from the non-accredited Patriot Bible University is widely considered to be a diploma mill, is currently serving a ten year prison sentence for tax evasion and obstructing federal agents.

In a written statement Vitter explained, “This program helps supplement and support educators and school systems that would like to offer all of the explanations in the study of controversial science topics such as global warming and the life sciences.” However, reporter James Gill poked fun at Vitter’s admission of using the services of Pamela Martin and Associates, a prostitution service ran by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, and his recent creationist earmark. “We were better off when Vitter, in between homilies on the sanctity of marriage, was blowing his own money on prostitutes. At least the kids were safe,” Gill wrote. He continued, “They will not be if the Louisiana Family Forum gets its way.”

Australian government announces study of tax system

Posted September 21st, 2018 by e76yKR

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Australian federal treasurer, Peter Costello, has announced a study to compare the Australian taxation system with those of other countries. It will include overall tax levels, as well as indirect tax, income tax and company tax systems. Mr Costello says that the results are intended to inform discussion of the future of the tax system.

“The aim of the study is to provide a public document that compares Australian taxes to those in other countries. This will identify those areas where Australia leads comparable countries and those areas where it lags. It will enable a focus on the most important areas,” Mr Costello said in a media release.

The study will be lead by Mr Richard (Dick) Warburton and Mr Peter Hendy. Mr Warburton is Chairman of Caltex Australia Ltd, and has been Chairman of the Board of Taxation since its inception in September 2000. According to its website, the Board of Taxation is “a non-statutory advisory body charged with contributing a business and broader community perspective to improving the design of taxation laws and their operation.”

The Australian Democrats welcomed the study but warned that nothing would be achieved without serious reform of the tax system.

“The Inquiry announced yesterday by the Treasurer may turn out to be a step in the right direction but will be a pointless exercise if it ends up being simply a ‘desktop’ report,” said Senator Murray, Democrats Tax Spokesperson.

“The problem with Mr Costello’s approach is that in contrast to the approach taken on the GST, the New Tax System, and the Business Tax System, he has seen income tax change to be solely part of the budget process. Across the whole of the political and public policy spectrum, there is strong agreement that reform is needed, not just tax cuts, and that the income tax system needs redesigning, not just fine tuning.”

Bling Cleaner A Cleaner For Every Situation}

Posted September 21st, 2018 by e76yKR

More On This Topic:

Bling Cleaner A Cleaner for Every Situation

by

Jack Sam White

Bling and Formula 420 have developed some of the most effective and diverse range of cleaning solutions on the market. Solutions for nearly any application from vaporizers and hookahs to water-pipes and dry pipes. They can clean glass, metal, Pyrex, porcelain, ceramic, plastic and wood. All cleaners are made by Formula 420 and branded Formula 420. Bling Cleaner is essentially the same product, made by the same company, simply under a different, less conspicuous name.

Here are all of the cleaners you can use at every situation, detailing their intended goal, what they are used on, and which cleaner is best for you.

Bling All Natural: This is an all-natural blend of cleaner made with organic ingredients. A spin off of Blings original cleaner for daily use. Built to clean glass, metal and ceramic. Best used on smaller pieces, like pipes, small bubblers, and vaporizer parts.

Bling Cleaner Daily: This is Blings original cleaner. This Bling solution has abrasive micro-beads what create a very rough formula to seriously attack resin and other build-up. Designed for use on Pyrex, glass, metal, and ceramic. This is an excellent cleaner for small bowls, bottom of pipes, and vaporizer glass pieces, especially those vaporizer screens.

Bling Cleaner Daily Concentrate: This Bling Cleaners large size and ability to add water makes it a fantastic value, and cleaning your piece in only 1-minute! Effective on Pyrex, glass, metal and ceramic. This solution also has the patented abrasive micro-beads, which makes this an ideal solution for large water pieces as well as hookahs.

Formula 420 Soak n Rinse: This solution is designed for overnight soaking. Use it on just about any material, except for plastic and rubber. It is a light, effective solution perfect for both large and small pieces.

Formula 420 All Natural: This all natural cleaner is formulated for one-minute action! Great for smaller pieces and parts, such as vaporizer mouthpieces and whips. Works very well on pipes and bowls too. The solution is all natural, non-toxic, so you may use on Pyrex, glass, plastic, rubber, wood, metal, or ceramic.

Formula 420 One Minute Cleaner: Very similar to Bling Cleaner for daily use, this product is fast-acting, cleaning in one minute. It has abrasive micro-beads to clean even the dirtiest pieces. Works better on smaller pieces, or in corners, bottoms, and crevasses of larger pieces. Effective on Pyrex, glass, metal, and ceramic.

Formula 420 and Bling Cleaners have a solution for any piece, large or small, glass or plastic. You got it, they can clean it. All cleaners are non-toxic and not alcohol based; presenting an effective, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to clean your toys!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of the location of a viewpoint used by English painter John Constable has been solved, after nearly 200 years. The Stour Valley and Dedham Church was painted in Suffolk, England, between 1814 and 1815, but changes to the landscape meant that the spot he chose was not known, despite the best efforts of historians and art experts.

Now the puzzle has been answered. Martin Atkinson, who works for the National Trust as property manager for East Suffolk, used clues from the painting and looked at old maps to track down the viewpoint. Trees had grown, a hedgerow had been planted and boundaries had moved or disappeared, but Atkinson eventually worked out where Constable had stood. He said, “When I discovered that I had worked out the location where Constable painted this particular masterpiece, I couldn’t believe it. All the pieces of the jigsaw finally fitted together.”

Atkinson used an 1817 map of East Bergholt, where Constable grew up, as a reference point, but found that the view would have changed not long after the painting was completed. “The foreground didn’t fit at all, it was quite unusual as we know Constable painted it in the open air so he would have been standing in the scene. The hedgerow in his work no longer exists and there’s another hedgerow that runs across the scene today which wasn’t there. When you stand on the road on which he would have stood, and use the oak tree as a reference point, you see the same view. It’s great to see where an old master stood – and be inspired by the same view,” he said.

Suffolk, where Constable painted many of his finest paintings, is often called “Constable country”. Most, but not all, of the locations that Constable depicted are known. The picture is now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Virginians melee at used Apple iBook sale

Posted September 18th, 2018 by e76yKR

Thursday, August 18, 2005

“Total chaos” is how many described the melee that resulted from a sale of used Apple iBook laptop computers at the Richmond International Raceway (RIR) by the Henrico County, Virginia school system.

Officials estimated nearly 5,000 people thronged the sale for the $50, four-year-old computers. Among them were 17 injured, four requiring hospitalization – one for a leg injury, and three for heat-related illness, said Henrico County Police. Reports of trampling in the stampede were not uncommon, and one driver reportedly tried to drive through the throng of prospective buyers.

Alice Jemerson, an elderly customer said, “They bum rushed the gates and I was knocked over, fighting for my life. All these people were on top of me.”

Shortly after 7am EST officials opened the gates and many residents ran hysterically toward the building where the sale was to occur at 9am.

At a post sale press conference, Henrico County Police spokesman Lieutenant Doug Perry told reporters, “A few bad apples found their way inside. It looked worse than it was.”

Apple iBooks are the preferred computer for Henrico County schools, and Director of General Services of Henrico County Paul Proto, said changes were made to the event after tremendous interest was generated, some as far away as Europe and California. Officials closed and moved the sale from the Henrico county school warehouse to the RIR, after residents complained that their tax dollars were used to buy the computers, and they ought to have first right to repurchase them. The Henrico County Board of Supervisors voted to amend the County Code so that only residents could purchase the laptop computers.

Although officials had prohibited camping out and overnight parking, some in attendance reported that people began arriving at midnight.

Henrico Police Chief H.W. Stanley, Jr. said five patrol officers were originally planned for the event, a customary presence for an event the size authorities had estimated. But by 6 am, an enormous crowd was assembled at the front gate.

Officials present before opening told the crowd that automobiles would be allowed to enter first, which prompted many to run to their cars. But while some were running back to their cars, others rushed the gate. The resulting confusion created much anger, and guards closed the gates shortly thereafter.

Long lines encircling the sale building were commonplace, and one observer noted, “They’re going to see themselves on the news tonight, and see what fools they are.”

Some citizens, however, considered their wait worthwhile. Hairstylist and mother of two Sheress Blunt was one of the first hundred to buy one of the iBooks; she came with her mother and said they sneaked into the raceway through a side gate.

Tonya Vaughan arrived at 5:30 a.m., also bought one of the first iBooks and said three people offered to buy it from her for as much as $200. She declined however, saying, “I told them no way! I had worked too hard for it.”

Lt. Perry said many officers were complimented on the way they handled the crowd, adding that police were seen letting children who had been pushed aside, into the building.

Mr. Proto said, “There are no plans right now to have another iBook sale.”

Henrico County Battalion Police Chief Steve Wood said no arrests were made and the iBooks were sold out by 1pm EST.

Selecting The Correct Notebook Computer On Your Company

Posted September 17th, 2018 by e76yKR

Selecting The Correct Notebook Computer On Your Company

by

Jacob Adams

Much more new organizations are selecting notebook personal computers around desktops for a great deal of reasons. The primary purpose is it encourages employees to perform from house in their off hours if required. You will discover powerful 2.5GHZ rate pocket book computers obtainable for nearly as low-cost as their desktop counterparts. Making use of a key enterprise brand for instance Toshiba, HP, or IBM (Lenovo) is a smart move, as is getting some extra warranty against breaking. Pocket book computer systems break more often as they’re more apt to slip and hit the floor. If you are going to have a secure network at your business enterprise you may well have to have notebooks with organization specs to enable uncomplicated file sharing and security rules. You might have to talk to a networking consultant about that.

Knowledge security is anything you are going to want to carefully take into account. In case your staff will be carrying around notebooks with customer files on them, or sensitive corporation knowledge you will not want to hit the street you must look into finger print readers. Configure them correctly and nobody can get to the knowledge on the challenging drive without scanning the fingerprint. The files is encrypted and safe. I love this characteristic on my notebook.

Keep in mind this write-up is focused on cost-effective choices and not an individual with an unlimited budget. The specifications I list right here will function for a person that does and doesn’t have an online enterprise as well. I cover only PC’s in this post, not Mac or Linux.

Here is an overview of business notebook computer considerations:

Operating Method (OS). Windows XP is being phased out. Windows 7 is the replacement. It’s unique, but not too bad.

Notebook Display Measurement. Get a standard display dimension for all staff, and will not go little. Huge hands can not use 12 or 13″ notebooks, will not force another person to. Start off at 14-15. Graphics employees may well need to have a bigger display. Some staff may perhaps choose 17″. Greater to ask.

Processor. The rate of the processor matters little these days. Something 1.6GHZ and quicker is in all probability fine for most of your employees. Once more, graphics individuals – and those working with video clip or other significant files will most likely need a significantly quicker computer with video RAM. They’ll know what they have to have, just ask.

YouTube Preview Image

Battery existence is not usually something a business requirements to contemplate unless you’ve all day meetings away from electrical plugs. Quicker processors eat battery life quicker.

BUS Velocity. This tells how fast the files moves close to on the motherboard. Rate of 800MHZ utilized to get fast, now you could possibly want 1,6GHZ rate to get swiftly. It is continuously changing, research this before you purchase. Decide on minimum 800MHZ velocity and you’ll almost certainly be OK – again, not for graphics men and women!

Random Access Memory. (RAM) It is one region you almost certainly need to get the maximum feasible. In case your notebook holds 8GB – go ahead and get 8GB. Your operating method and programs are memory hogs and use up the RAM quickly.

WIFI. WIFI can be a way on your pocket book to reach the world wide web without the need of wires. For those who don’t get this characteristic, you’re going to be kicking your self down the road at some point. The cost is negligible, go ahead and get it for all the notebooks you buy.

WIFI speeds are noted with these letters – a/b/g/n. G and N are fastest. You ought to probably get notebooks with both of those.

Bluetooth. This wireless networking works short distances and is ideal for employing Skype with a headset. You may possibly or may possibly not have to have this, but it is only $10 and also you should have it.

Hard Disk DR (HDD). Challenging drives are growing in files they can hold, and shrinking in measurement yr to yr. 320 to 500GB tricky drives are regular right now, by the time you read this 1TB may well be common. Study prior to you buy. The only reason you’d will need a incredibly huge challenging push is for those who perform with graphics or video a great deal. Rate of the difficult drive becomes an problem in that situation as well – get 7200rpm (or swifter) tough drives instead of 5400rpm. Solid State Drives – SSD’s with no moving parts are becoming standard as price drops. In most cases they are quicker than spinning hard drives, and you must pick them for their durability.

Optical Push. (DVD – R/W)! Get a Blue-Ray compatible with and – designations and you also need to be OK. Most drives write DVD info at 8x pace. That is slow. Once more, this can be expected to quicken around time.

Battery. Lithium Ion 6-cell batteries are the current common. If you don’t require long-life batteries for your notebooks, get 6-cell. Otherwise you’ll find generally 8 or 9-cell choices.

The Weight Factor. Most notebooks are about 4-5 lbs. The lightest they get is just over 2 lbs. Lighter weight means less strong, but less complicated to carry.

Ports. Ports are for plugging in exterior devices to your laptop or computer.

As a minimum you need these ports:

three USB 2. or 3. ports. USB’s are the regular port for connecting practically anything.

Modem or SIM card slot for mobile phone access by way of your pocket book when a broadband network connection isn’t accessible by means of WIFI.

RJ-45. CAT five network cables plug in to RJ-45 ports on your computer system. You need to have this in situation you will find wireless complications.

Serial VGA port. Plug your external keep track of into this. Really useful if your laptop computer display dies. Some workers choose to connect a larger keep track of to their notebooks to use at work.

Extras. Web cameras are fun and some enterprises use them for face to face Skype calls. Microphone and headphone jacks are almost constantly typical. You may perhaps also want an exterior monitor to have the ability to connect to your laptop or computer – IBM usually has this serial 9 port for this. Some ports allow TV’s to become connected (S-video or HDMI.)

I hope this helps you decide on a enterprise notebook computer when the time comes. Obviously I couldn’t cover everything, but this will give you a point to commence from.

I hope this helps you choose a business notebook computer from

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Article Source:

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Major explosion at Mt. Redoubt volcano in Alaska

Posted September 14th, 2018 by e76yKR

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) reported today a “significant explosive event” had occurred at Mount Redoubt in Alaska. Lightning was observed within an ash cloud that formed over the volcano. As a result the AVO raised the alert level to ‘warning’ and level ‘red’ for aviation. The event occurred at 6:00 a.m. (AKDT).

According to the Observatory, seismic activity caused a major lahar, similar to a mudslide or landslide, to occur in the Drift River Valley. Inhabitants of the Valley were advised to seek high ground and take immediate precautions against flooding. So far there are no reports of injuries or evacuations. Wikinews has e-mailed the AVO for a statement regarding the event, but has yet to receive a reply.

“Strong, but diminishing seismic activity is continuing as of 07:35 AKDT,” said the AVO on its website. At 9:18 a.m., the AVO reported that the event had ended. “Continuing seismic activity and web camera images indicate that low level emissions of steam, gas, and some volcanic ash are continuing to be emitted at the volcano at altitudes of [20,000 feet].” The AVO is sending a team to investigate the latest eruption which will include a fly-over to take readings on the gases being emitted.

The explosion sent volcanic ash which spread to “Homer, Anchor Point, and Seldovia” to an altitude of over 50,000 feet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued an advisory stating that ash fall can be expected from “Ninilchik Southward through mid morning.” The advisory is scheduled to end at 10:00 a.m. (AKDT).

As a result of recent eruptions at Redoubt, half of the 6 million gallons of crude oil stored in the Drift Valley will be removed to a safer location. There is no word on when the move will take place. The storage facility is located just 22 miles from Redoubt.

Calls for corporate tax reform in Australia goes unheeded

Posted September 14th, 2018 by e76yKR

Friday, May 12, 2006

Peter Costello’s budget announcement has led to rejoicing for small businesses, but the lack of joy for those pushing for radical corporate taxation reform has led to many businesses asking “what about us?”

Personal taxation and small business have been the big winners after this year’s federal budget. Although dampened by the twin economic threats of rising interest rates and petrol prices, there should be a reasonable amount of real income savings for both low and high income earners, with those receiving Medicare, or a superannuation benefit, privy to an even lower level of taxation (0% for those on super benefits).

Small business also has benefited from the Howard government’s 11th annual budget, with them receiving a higher level of reducing depreciation, leading to a higher level of deductions in the years following the uptake of new technology or other capital. They are also privy to a AU$435 million dollar tax cut to compensate for their changing accounting requirements under the government’s new AIFRS reporting standards, as well as increasing the uptake of both the small business tax relief scheme and CGT (Capital Gains tax) Concessions.

The budget was not a complete loss for big business however, as superannuation laws have been tweaked to streamline contribution and payment rules previously impeding those with multitudes of staff.

But this is not enough, says Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young. In their newly published paper “Taxation of Investment in Australia: the need for ongoing reform”. In it they lead the charge for a greater streamlining and organization of the corporate tax system in Australia, submitting that it will lead to reductions in “disincentives to work save and invest in Australia [as well as improving] the international competitiveness of Australian businesses.” This follows from a recent report brought out by Mr. Costello himself about the need for tax reform in Australia.

A budget night Mr. Costello was notably coy about any future reform of corporate tax in Australia. He alluded to the report by his ministers but kept from outlining the government’s plan precisely.

Oil spill hits Australia’s Sunshine coastline

Posted September 9th, 2018 by e76yKR

Sunday, March 15, 2009

200,000 litres of oil leaked into waters off the coast of Brisbane from the Pacific Adventurer when their fuel tanks were damaged in rough seas on Wednesday. The figure is about ten times higher than the original estimate of twenty thousand litres of oil. The devastating diesel oil spill has spread along 60 kilometres (37 miles) of the Queensland coast. In addition, 31 containers with 620 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser flew overboard during the violent storm.

Questions are being asked why the Hong Kong cargo ship was out in seas with nine meter waves caused by Cyclone Hamish, a Category 5 tropical cyclone, as well as why the fertiliser containers were not properly secured. One of the overboard containers ruptured the hull of the Pacific Adventurer, causing between 30 to 100 tonnes of oil to spew from the severely damaged ship.

If the ammonium nitrate mixes with the heavy oil, an explosion could occur. None of the containers have been recovered. Some of these may float, but it is believed that they may have sunk which then may cause algal blooms.

Disaster zones have been declared at Bribie and Moreton Islands, and along the Sunshine coast.

The vessel’s owner, Swire Shipping, reported that a second leak began on Friday, when the ship began listing after docking at Hamilton for repairs. “As full soundings of the vessel’s tanks were being taken at the port to determine how much oil had leaked from the vessel, a small quantity of fuel oil escaped from the Pacific Adventurer,” it stated. The ship was brought upright, and a recovery vessel was used to suck up the oil from the water. The leak produced a 500m-long oil slick down the Brisbane River. Booms were placed around this oil spill so that a skimmer could clean up the second spill.

Swire Shipping could face clean up costs of AU$100,000 a day as well as fines up to AU$1.5million (US$977,000; £703,000) if found guilty of environmental breaches or negligence.

Sunshine Coast beaches are slowly starting to be reopened. The beach of Mooloolaba was still closed following reports of burning sensations from swimmers. 12 beaches remain closed; however, 13 have been reopened.

Over 300 state government and council workers are using buckets, rakes and spades in the clean up effort. Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbott says the majority will be gone by Sunday afternoon. The full environmental impact on wildlife is not yet known. One turtle and seven pelicans have been found covered in oil.

There are concerns that the drinking water of Moreton Island is at risk, as the island uses water from the underground water table near the oil spill site.

“Every bucketload of contaminated sand has to be removed from the island by barge, and each bucketload from a front-end loader weighs about one tonne. It’s just an impossible task,” said Mr Trevor Hassard of the Tangalooma Dolphin Education Centre.

The commercial fishing industry has suffered from the incident. Trawlers won’t resume operations until Sunday evening, and any catches will be tested for human consumption.