">
US lawmakers reach stimulus package deal

Friday, February 13, 2009

Politicians from both houses of the United States Congress have reached a consensus over a stimulus package worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

The package was bridged between the House of Representatives‘ version of the stimulus, which was worth US$820 billion, and the Senate‘s version, which cost $838 billion. The package now costs $789 billion, and devotes resources to tax cuts and spending intended to help revive the faltering US economy.

The House of Representatives’ version of the bill was passed without any Republican support, while the Senate’s version, which was voted upon on Tuesday, was backed by only three Republican senators.

The stimulus is aimed at giving help to those who have suffered from the recession, in the form of food stamps, health coverage, unemployment benefits, and various other things.

US President Barack Obama hailed the agreement as a “hard-fought compromise”.

“I want to thank the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who came together,” he said, “with the urgency that this moment demands.”

Obama is to sign to bill into law after the revised version of the stimulus is passed by Congress. He has said that he wants the bill on his desk ready to sign by this weekend.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Do you think that the stimulus package will help the economy?
Add or view comments

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid estimated that the package should introduce three and a half million jobs. More than a third of it is to be devoted to various incentives for middle-class Americans and tax cuts.

Republican politicians, however, still disapprove of the stimulus plan, saying that the package is too costly and will increase the size of the federal government and not create any new jobs.

US stock markets posted modest gains at the end of day following the agreement.

 This story has updates See US Congress passes $787 billion stimulus package 

">
On the campaign trail in the USA, October 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The following is the sixth and final edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the Free & Equal Foundation holds a presidential debate with three little-known candidates; three additional candidates give their final pleas to voters; and past Wikinews interviewees provide their electoral predictions ahead of the November 8 election.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Free & Equal Debate
  • 3 Final pleas
  • 4 Predictions
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources
">
Culture of creativity features at Furnal Equinox 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Visual art, fabric art, photography, performance, dance, virtual reality, and music were all the subject of sessions at Furnal Equinox 2018, a conference held from March 16 to 18 at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle. Canada’s largest furry convention by attendance, the annual event offers dozens of subculture-specific programs.

The convention’s communications and public relations coordinator for the event, Ronnie, describes furries as “people that enjoy arts and culture centred around animals and animal-themed topics, essentially. Furnal Equinox in particular, we like to celebrate in a very visual and very […] artistic nature, where we have lots of arts and performances and crafts that go on, and people celebrate with lots of socialisation involved.”

Of the attendees, Ronnie told Wikinews “they come from all walks of life. They are people of all ages, sizes, all sorts of backgrounds, and they come together under one mutual interest, which is their love for animal culture.”

“Programming at Furnal Equinox involves[…] a lot of informational panels, so you can find out about topics from art and how to draw, or how to visually incorporate different elements into your artworks. You can also find panels that teach you how to write better, be a better fiction author for example,” explained the event representative.

At one panel Wikinews attended, members of its all-volunteer organising committee spoke of the year-long process of planning the event, and their reasons for committing such a significant amount of their time. Said one panelist, “if you’re happy, we’re happy.”

The largest hub of activity at the convention was a dealer’s room; nicknamed the “Dealer’s Den”, giving it an anthropomorphic twist. Vendors were selling original visual art, wearables like faux fur tails or ears, or things like jewellery or soap with motifs that would interest attendees.

The back area of the room was dedicated to a charity auction, with proceeds benefiting Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. According to the convention website, the charity is “dedicated to rescuing abused, neglected, and abandoned farmed animals. Their goal is to provide a safe, life-long home for all of their residents, and to educate the public about the true nature of farmed animals through tours, volunteer programs, and community outreach.”

Split into groups, some attendees played “Fursuit Games” in front of an audience, like trying to toss a ball into a garbage can. The activity made harder, of course, by the limited dexterity and vision the most of the costumes entail.

October 20th, 2018

News briefs:August 18, 2006

">
News briefs:August 18, 2006

The time is 17:00 (UTC) on August 18th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 North Korea to accept international aid
    • 1.2 North Korea reportedly planning nuclear bomb test
    • 1.3 Chechen rebels surrender
    • 1.4 Canadian soldier killed in accidental shooting laid to rest
    • 1.5 US senators on Greenland tour
    • 1.6 Muhammad cartoon row continues
    • 1.7 Irish firm issues free energy challenge to scientists
    • 1.8 Two New Zealand men ran illegal text lottery
    • 1.9 Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to have launch pad
    • 1.10 Web.com announces second quarter results
  • 2 Closing statements

[edit]

">
Five biggest US banks told to raise $74.6 billion; fail “stress tests”

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The five largest United States banks need a total of US$74.6 billion in extra funds to increase their cash reserves, according to so-called “stress tests” conducted by regulators to determine whether the banks have enough capital to survive the ongoing recession.

“Our hope with today’s actions is that banks are going to be able to get back to the business of banking,” said Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary.

The results of the stress-test determined that Bank of America was the bank most at risk, needing $33.9 billion. Wells Fargo will require an additional $13.7 billion, while GMAC needs $11.5 billion.

Seven other banks failed the “stress test”, including: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Regions Financial, SunTrust Banks, KeyCorp, Fifth Third Bancorp, and PNC Financial Services.

Nine other banks that underwent stress tests, such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon, MetLife, American Express, State Street, BB&T, US Bancorp and Capital One Financial, were found to have enough capital in case the recession deepens.

Those banks that need extra money will be set a June 8 deadline to draw up their plans to raise the additional capital and have regulators approve them.

October 20th, 2018

Category:May 31, 2010

">
Category:May 31, 2010
? May 30, 2010
June 1, 2010 ?
May 31

Pages in category “May 31, 2010”

">
Hydrogen fuel cell cars promoted in various states, but U.S. federal funding cut

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

American Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is cutting US$100 million dollars from hydrogen fuel cell vehicle research and diverting the remaining $69 million to hydrogen fuel cell research for household current.

Former president George W. Bush advocated the zero-emission vehicles and launched $1.2 billion for hydrogen fuel cell research over a number of years.

President Barack Obama is proposing a “corporate average fuel economy,” or CAFÉ, placing standards for gas mileage at 39 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks at 30 mpg.

“The probability of deploying hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles in the next 10 to 20 years is low.” said Tom Welch of the U.S. Department of Energy. “We asked ourselves, ‘Is it likely in the next 10 or 15, 20 years that we will convert to a hydrogen car economy?’ The answer, we felt, was ‘no,'” said Chu.

In response, the U.S. Fuel Cell Council and the National Hydrogen Association said, “The cuts proposed in the DOE hydrogen and fuel-cell program threaten to disrupt commercialization of a family of technologies that are showing exceptional promise and beginning to gain market traction. Fuel-cell vehicles are not a science experiment. These are real vehicles with real marketability and real benefits. Hundreds of fuel-cell vehicles have collectively logged millions of miles.”

“I just got the Clarity, which is a wonderful hydrogen vehicle,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He lent his car to The Hydrogen Road Tour.

On Tuesday, The Hydrogen Road Tour began in Chula Vista, California. Twelve hydrogen fuel cell cars by seven auto makers will arrive in Vancouver, British Columbia June 3 for the Hydrogen + Fuel Cells 2009 conference, a global hydrogen and fuel cell event. “The point really is to raise awareness about fuel celled vehicles and hydrogen, their benefits both to energy efficiency and the environment as well as to consumers because we really believe these vehicles are going to be a market winner,” said Catherine Dunwoody, the Executive Director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership.

The Hydrogen Fuel Cells 2009 conference began June 1. “Our global environmental challenges, such as climate change, do not stop at the border,” ” said John Tak, conference Chair, “I am pleased that scientists, engineers, government representatives and businesspeople from more than 35 countries are coming to Vancouver, an active hub for hydrogen and fuel cell development, to help create solutions to these challenges.”

The Ohio Fuel Cell Symposium was held in North Canton, Ohio on Wednesday and Thursday. “The hydrogen and fuel cell industries are at a stage where they have the momentum and energy to accomplish some truly revolutionary things in terms of how they apply their technologies,” said William Whittenberger, president of Catacel Corp. These fuel cells produce electricity and exhaust carbon dioxide and water.

A hydrogen powered municipal street cleaning vehicle is currently being tested for the next year and half in Basel, Switzerland. “Our aim is to take fuel cell technology from the laboratory onto the street,” said Empa’s Internal Combustion Engines Laboratory Project Leader Christian Bach.

Dan Lutz, the fleet manager for the Beloit, Wisconsin public works department, experimented with retro-fitting his personal truck. The department now has a large pickup truck, a garbage truck, a recycling truck, a police squad car and a small pickup truck using hydrogen technology increasing gas mileage from 14 to 22 and 31 mpg. “We know the basic technology works, but the issue is, is it practical,” said City Manager Larry Arft, “Can it be used realistically?”

The drawback is that the technology may rely on platinum, a rare metal, or palladium. Infrastructure would need to be changed to supply hydrogen fueling stations. Critics are also concerned about hydrogen fuel storage and the costs of retro-fitting existing vehicles.

">
Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, on animal rights and the film about her life

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Last night HBO premiered I Am An Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA. Since its inception, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has made headlines and raised eyebrows. They are almost single-handedly responsible for the movement against animal testing and their efforts have raised the suffering animals experience in a broad spectrum of consumer goods production and food processing into a cause célèbre.

PETA first made headlines in the Silver Spring monkeys case, when Alex Pacheco, then a student at George Washington University, volunteered at a lab run by Edward Taub, who was testing neuroplasticity on live monkeys. Taub had cut sensory ganglia that supplied nerves to the monkeys’ fingers, hands, arms, legs; with some of the monkeys, he had severed the entire spinal column. He then tried to force the monkeys to use their limbs by exposing them to persistent electric shock, prolonged physical restraint of an intact arm or leg, and by withholding food. With footage obtained by Pacheco, Taub was convicted of six counts of animal cruelty—largely as a result of the monkeys’ reported living conditions—making them “the most famous lab animals in history,” according to psychiatrist Norman Doidge. Taub’s conviction was later overturned on appeal and the monkeys were eventually euthanized.

PETA was born.

In the subsequent decades they ran the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty against Europe’s largest animal-testing facility (footage showed staff punching beagle puppies in the face, shouting at them, and simulating sex acts while taking blood samples); against Covance, the United State’s largest importer of primates for laboratory research (evidence was found that they were dissecting monkeys at its Vienna, Virginia laboratory while the animals were still alive); against General Motors for using live animals in crash tests; against L’Oreal for testing cosmetics on animals; against the use of fur for fashion and fur farms; against Smithfield Foods for torturing Butterball turkeys; and against fast food chains, most recently against KFC through the launch of their website kentuckyfriedcruelty.com.

They have launched campaigns and engaged in stunts that are designed for media attention. In 1996, PETA activists famously threw a dead raccoon onto the table of Anna Wintour, the fur supporting editor-in-chief of Vogue, while she was dining at the Four Seasons in New York, and left bloody paw prints and the words “Fur Hag” on the steps of her home. They ran a campaign entitled Holocaust on your Plate that consisted of eight 60-square-foot panels, each juxtaposing images of the Holocaust with images of factory farming. Photographs of concentration camp inmates in wooden bunks were shown next to photographs of caged chickens, and piled bodies of Holocaust victims next to a pile of pig carcasses. In 2003 in Jerusalem, after a donkey was loaded with explosives and blown up in a terrorist attack, Newkirk sent a letter to then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat to keep animals out of the conflict. As the film shows, they also took over Jean-Paul Gaultier‘s Paris boutique and smeared blood on the windows to protest his use of fur in his clothing.

The group’s tactics have been criticized. Co-founder Pacheco, who is no longer with PETA, called them “stupid human tricks.” Some feminists criticize their campaigns featuring the Lettuce Ladies and “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” ads as objectifying women. Of their Holocaust on a Plate campaign, Anti-Defamation League Chairman Abraham Foxman said “The effort by PETA to compare the deliberate systematic murder of millions of Jews to the issue of animal rights is abhorrent.” (Newkirk later issued an apology for any hurt it caused). Perhaps most controversial amongst politicians, the public and even other animal rights organizations is PETA’s refusal to condemn the actions of the Animal Liberation Front, which in January 2005 was named as a terrorist threat by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

David Shankbone attended the pre-release screening of I Am An Animal at HBO’s offices in New York City on November 12, and the following day he sat down with Ingrid Newkirk to discuss her perspectives on PETA, animal rights, her responses to criticism lodged against her and to discuss her on-going life’s work to raise human awareness of animal suffering. Below is her interview.

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Contents

  • 1 The HBO film about her life
  • 2 PETA, animal rights groups and the Animal Liberation Front
  • 3 Newkirk on humans and other animals
  • 4 Religion and animals
  • 5 Fashion and animals
  • 6 Newkirk on the worst corporate animal abusers
  • 7 Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
  • 8 Ingrid Newkirk on Ingrid Newkirk
  • 9 External links
  • 10 Sources
">
Brazilian Vote Buying parliamentary commission present first joint preliminary report
Wikipedia has more about this subject:

Monday, September 5, 2005

Brazil —The Post Office and Vote Buying parliamentary commissions of investigation unanimously approved on Thursday (1) their first joint preliminary report of activities. The text was prepared by their redactors, Osmar Serraglio (PMDB) and Ibrahim Abi-Ackel (PP), from Post Office and Vote Buying commissions respectively.

The deputies cited in the report are: Carlos Rodrigues (PLRJ), José Janene (PP-PR), Pedro Correia (PP-PE), Pedro Henry (PP-MS), Sandro Mabel (PL-GO), João Magno (PTMG), João Paulo Cunha (PT-SP), José Borba (PMDB-PR), Josias Gomes da Silva (PT-BA), Paulo Rocha (PT-BA), Professor Luizinho (PT-SP), Romeu Queiroz (PTB-MG), Vadão Gomes (PP-SP), Vanderval Santos (PL-SP), José Mentor (PT-SP), Roberto Brant (PFL-MG), José Dirceu (PT-SP) and Roberto Jefferson (PTB-RJ).

The report indicts 18 Brazilian deputies and the former deputy Valdemar Costa Neto [who resigned on August 1]. They are accused of illegal campaign finance activities, of placing cronies in strategic positions in government enterprises and getting kickbacks from them, and of receiving cash payments in exchange for voting in line with the government in the Brazilian Congress.

The redactors called the allegation made by some parliamentarians that the resources were used to settle debts with electoral campaigns a “lame excuse”. According to them it is “perfectly plausible” that the loans taken by the businessman Marcos Valerio at the Banco Rural and the BMG for the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) were false and created to make the illegal funds seem legal.

In regards to the denunciations done by deputy Roberto Jefferson (PTB) the report says:

  • Everything which he said that could be investigated showed to be true, including confessions against himself .
  • Everything that must be compared to other testimonies showed a great degree of truth. As a matter of fact, all of who, hurriedly, questioned him, saw their defenses collapse, before the successive discoveries.

According to the report, the businessman Marcos Valério is a not reliable person because of his contraditory testmonies.

The report says that several documents were identified and reviewed proving that large sums of money were withdrawn from agencies of the Rural Bank, in Brasilia and Belo Horizonte, as well as from bank accounts of the enterprises SMPB and DNA Propaganda. According to the documents the beneficiaries were federal deputies who received the money in person or through relatives, advisers, or persons nominated by Marcos Valério.

The report affirms that it is possible that some payments were made on a monthly basis, and others more or less frequently. Nevertheless, according to the report the periodicity of the payments is the less important fact.

">
Massachusetts lawmakers enact plan for universal health coverage

Friday, April 7, 2006Legislators in the Massachusetts General Court, their name for the state legislature, approved legislation on Tuesday, April 4, that would make it the first state in the United States to require all residents to have health insurance and impose penalties for non-compliance. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican who is expected to run for U.S. President in 2008, is expected to sign the bill.

The bill passed the lower house, the Massachusetts House of Representatives by a vote of 155-2, and unanimously by the state senate. The Democratic Party holds supermajorities in both houses of the legislature.

Among the bill’s provisions are these:

  1. Businesses that employ more than 10 people are required to provide health insurance for all staff or face fines of $295 per year per uninsured worker.
  2. Individuals will be required to enroll in a health plan by July 1, 2007, or face tax penalties.
  3. Health insurers will provide partially to fully subsidized coverage for low-income residents.

At least one other state (Hawaii) requires employers to provide employee health insurance, but no other state holds individuals accountable for coverage.

footer