<div class=British white paper on public health
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British white paper on public health

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

ENGLAND — UK Health Secretary John Reid has proposed widespread legislative and health care changes in a new white paper on public health released Tuesday. Titled “Choosing Health”, the paper details government plans to restrict smoking in public places, limit ‘junk food‘ advertisements to children, make available “lifestyle trainers”, campaign against sexually transmitted diseases and tobacco, and improve food labelling.

The white paper comes after extensive public comment that involved 150,000 people.

Smoking would be restricted in enclosed public spaces, restaurants, workplaces, and some pubs. The ban would be enacted gradually, affecting government and NHS buildings in 2006, enclosed public places in 2007, and private property in 2008. Permanent exemption would be granted to pubs that do not serve prepared food — though not at the bar — as well as private clubs, a decision that has provoked some to call the measure incomplete. Up to 90% of pubs are expected to be affected. The Scottish executive proposed a complete ban on smoking in enclosed public places last week, and Ireland has already banned smoking in pubs and restaurants.

Food advertisements targeted to children would be banned until 9pm, under the White Paper’s proposals. The restriction is a measure to tackle rising rates of childhood obesity. The government also intends to develop voluntary standards on food and drink advertisements to children with industry, only threatening legislation if an acceptable standard is not reached by 2007. Additionally, low income families would receive vouchers for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk, and infant formula. School lunches would also be held to stricter nutritional standards. Reid has warned that unless childhood obesity is tackled, “we face the prospect of children having shorter life expectancy than their parents”.

Food labelling would also be improved, with a “traffic light” system implemented. Packaged food would be evaluated based on its fat, sugar, and salt content.

The paper is unusual for suggesting a more holistic approach to health care, offering for the first time “lifestyle trainers.” The National Health Service would be funding with an additional £1bn to make people’s overall lives healthier, which is expected to save £30bn in preventable illness.

The paper additionally makes mention of reducing accidents, which affected 2.7m people last year and is a leading cause of child death, curb binge drinking, and reduce substance abuse among youths.

The paper has been criticized by many parties. The Tory Shadow Health Secretary has criticized the Labour government’s comprehensiveness and creation of a “new nanny state approach”. He has additionally described it as “gimmicks”. The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of not being comprehensive enough. It has also been criticized by the British Medical Association as being implemented too slowly, saying “When lives need saving, doctors act immediately”.

Mr. Reid has argued against the nanny state label, saying “In a free society, men and women ultimately have the right within the law to choose their own lifestyle, even when it may damage their own health. But people do not have the right to damage the health of others, or to impose an intolerable degree of inconvenience or nuisance on others … This is a sensible solution which balances the protection of the majority with the personal freedom of the minority in England”.

The full white paper “Choosing Health” can be read here.

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<div class=Surprise demolition of partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York met with opposition
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Surprise demolition of partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York met with opposition

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Buffalo, New York —Wikinews has learned that, in a surprising turn of events, the city of Buffalo located in New York, has ordered and begun an emergency demolition on a three story 19th century stable which partially collapsed on Wednesday June 11 causing at least five homes to be evacuated. Residents are not happy, and despite the short notice of the demolition, nearly 30 people showed up to protest it. Demolition was not supposed to begin until Monday June 16.

At about 2:30 p.m. (eastern time) on June 13, demolition crew arrived at the stable located at 428 Jersey Avenue and began to unload heavy equipment which will be used to demolish the building. This came as a surprise to residents, as demolition was not supposed to start until Monday June 16.

During the early afternoon hours on June 11, the Buffalo Fire Department was called to scene after residents called 9-1-1 stating that part of the building had collapsed. Material from the building fell into the yards of at least three neighboring houses. Some of the bricks landed inside the building, while some fell into the yards of some houses behind homes on Richmond Avenue, leaving a ‘V’ shape.

At about 3:30 p.m. crews began to demolish a small portion of the stable located behind Joe Murray’s home, a resident who lives behind a portion of the building on Jersey and Richmond avenues. While demolition was taking place, the section collapsed into Murray’s backyard, prompting a call to police. Some residents who own home surrounding the building were inside Murray’s house holding a neighborhood meeting when demolition began. No one was injured when the section collapsed.

“[The building] can come down any minute,” stated Donna Berry of the Buffalo Police Department who also added that when police arrived on scene, they immediately put a stop to demolition, fearing the safety of surrounding residents and pedestrians.

“So many [of the] people [living around the building] are at risk, it makes me want to cry,” added Berry.

Police, local politicians and area residents are concerned that demolition crews and the city are not taking the proper precautions to ensure the safety of residents during demolition.

“[There is] no protection for neighbors. [This is] appalling and beyond negligence,” stated Tim Tielman, Executive Director of the Campaign for Buffalo who was referring to the negligence of the demolition crew.

“[In order to stop demolition] citizens must demonstrate direct harm to themselves,” added Tielman.

The city’s preservation board held an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue. Wikinews has learned that the owner of the building, Bob Freudenheim, gave the city permission to demolish the building because he would not be “rehabilitating the building anytime soon.” Freudenheim was part-owner of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and was also an advocate to stop the Elmwood Village Hotel from being built on the corners of Forest and Elmwood Avenues in 2006 and 2007, which Wikinews extensively covered. He also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built.

Tielman states that he was in contact with Freudenheim this morning. Tielman states that Freudenheim “is not spending a dime” to have the building renovated. Tielman states that Freudenheim has offered to sell the building to any interested party for only one US dollar, but that he “flip flops [his decision] constantly,” sometimes wanting hundreds of thousands of dollars for the building. Wikinews has attempted to contact Freudenheim, but so far has been unsuccessful.

City building inspectors were also on scene evaluating the building and ensuring the safety of residents. Donald Grezebielucina states that “some people are on notice to vacate their properties”, but also stated that no other precautions were being taken other than placing “tires and scaffolding” onto the side of 430 Jersey, which sits less than eight feet from the buildings East side.

“The gas has been shut off in case we lost the building, so there would be no explosions or anything like that. It’s so unstable, the structural integrity is gone. The chemical composite of the trusses has changed dramatically and dry rotted. There are three vehicles in the basement which totally disappeared,” stated Grezebielucina to the press while protesters yelled “save our building, save our neighborhood.”

Wikinews has also learned that local residents have consulted a lawyer regarding the issue, and hope to petition the New York State Supreme court to issue an injunction to stop demolition. They states that Freudenheim should be “100% responsible” for his actions, and many are afraid that once the building is demolished, Freudenheim’s charges of neglect will be abolished. Freudenheim is facing housing violations for neglecting the building. Though residents are fighting, Tielman states that “an injunction is unlikely.”

“We had a letter of violation against him. He was supposed to have started work to stabilize the brick this Monday. We all hope this building could be saved. But we’ve got five houses evacuated and we cannot tolerate any further delay. We’ve got to get people back into their homes in a safe condition,” said Richard Tobe, Commissioner of the city’s Permit and Inspection Services.

Demolition is set to resume at 8:00 a.m.in the morning of Saturday June 14.

Mike Lombardo, the Commissioner for the Buffalo Fire Department, believes that the building was built in 1812 or 1814, making it nearly 200 years old. It is one of only three stables still standing in the city.

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<div class=CEO of GM outlines plan for “New GM” after auto company declared bankruptcy
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CEO of GM outlines plan for “New GM” after auto company declared bankruptcy

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In a New York press conference at 16:15 UTC, June 1st, Fritz Henderson, the Chief Executive Officer of General Motors, which filed for bankruptcy and Chapter 11 protection from its creditors earlier today, outlined a plan for what he called a “New GM”.

Speaking to the press under safe harbor provisions of U.S. law, Henderson described the events of today as a “defining moment” in the history of General Motors. Speaking to the public he said that “The GM that let you down is history,” and described a “New GM” that he expected to result from the bankruptcy process.

Henderson stated that he envisioned the bankruptcy process would take between 60 and 90 days. He stressed several times his view that the process would be one that is executed quickly, saying that not just a sense of urgency but “pure unadulterated speed” was his expectation of the process. He emphasized that “GM remains open for business” during the bankruptcy period, continuing to sell and to support its products, and that day one motions had been filed in the bankruptcy court in order to allow this.

Regarding the bankruptcy process he said, “We will do it right. And we will do it once.”

He stated that the plan for General Motors had the support of the United Auto Workers union, the Canadian Auto Workers union, the GM VEBA, and a majority of the unsecured bondholders of GM. He also mentioned that GM had already received €1.5 million in bridge financing from the German government.

In response to questions about the possibility of the United States federal government, a majority shareholder in the restructured company, dictating future product development and strategy, such as the sale of more fuel-efficient and green vehicles; he first observed that the federal government had already stated to him that it had “no real interest in running our business” and that he expected that still to be his job. Of the specific hypothetical scenario where the management of GM wants to make one type of car, because it thinks that it is the right thing for the business, and the U.S. government wants to make another type of car, he stated that “I don’t think it’s going to happen.” Expanding on that point he stated that he expected the “New GM” to focus upon “highly fuel-efficient and green technology”, and that operating both in accordance with U.S. environmental laws and in response to customer demand would naturally result in the New GM producing the types of vehicles that the U.S. government would encourage.

The “New GM” he also expected to focus on “four core brands”, and will size its dealership to match that. He stated that GM would offer a “deferred termination” package to dealers, to allow them to cease dealing in GM vehicles in a managed and gradual way.

He stated that the bankruptcy filings did not cover General Motors’ businesses in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, and Asia and the Pacific. Of GM’s profitable ventures in China, specifically, he stated that they were “a critical part of the New GM”. In response to questions of whether the New GM would import cars from China to the U.S., he stated the formative company’s core principle that “We build where we sell” applied in both directions, with GM building in China to sell in China and building in the U.S. to sell in the U.S., stating that this shortened supply chains.

He declined to predict when the New GM would return to profitability, stating that the goal was rather to lower the break-even EBIT point for the company. He also declined to speculate upon when the U.S. government would sell its stake in the company, saying that that was a question “better addressed to the U.S. Treasury”, and merely saying that he expected it to be “years, not months” when the U.S. Treasury felt it would give “the right return for taxpayers.”

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Using Structured Interviews For Selecting And Developing Employees

Using Structured Interviews For Selecting And Developing Employees

By Andrea Watkins

The purpose of structured, competency-based interviewing is to help organizations hire and promote people who will succeed in their jobs. Different jobs require different competencies. Competencies are important because they can be used to improve performance (both individual and organizational) in at least three ways: selection, feedback and development.

1. Selection: Competencies can be used to guide recruitment (the company seeks to identify recruiting sources rich in critical competencies) and selection (the company builds structured interviews around the critical competencies). If new employees can be hired into the job already possessing most, if not all, of the critical competencies, they will be more successful more quickly.

2. Feedback: Research has shown that employees receiving feedback about their strengths and weaknesses improve their performance more than those who do not (Smither, London, Vasilopoulous, Reilly, Milsap & Salvemini, 1995). Furthermore, it appears that those who need it most are those who benefit the most from feedback. Competencies provide a useful framework for organizing job-relevant feedback.

3. Development: Finally, competencies can be strengthened through a variety of developmental activities. Although enhancing one’s knowledge or changing one’s skills is not easy, those who make development a priority can improve competencies and their resulting performance.

The objective of interviewing is to help managers and human resource professionals hire and promote employees who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the target job and the broader organization.

A structured interview has scripted questions and guidelines for consistently evaluating responses. Therefore, all candidates are asked the same questions, in the same order and in exactly the same way (without differing explanations or interpretations by the interviewer). Structured also means that every candidate’s responses are evaluated and scored, typically using behaviorally anchored rating scales developed for each question. After all, structured questions have been asked and evaluated, any follow-up questions can be asked based on answers given by candidates.

Some elements of structure in employment interviewing as defined by Huffcutt and Arthur (1994) include:

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1. Basing questions on an analysis of the target job (i.e., tying questions to competencies required by the job)

2. Asking the same questions of each candidate

3. Asking specific types of questions (i.e., asking about specific past job behaviors or what one would do in hypothetical job-related situations)

4. Using detailed, behaviorally anchored rating scales (i.e., rating scales with behavioral examples to illustrate points along the scale)

5. Limiting the use of follow-up questions by the interviewer

6. Systematically combining ratings of questions to derive an overall score

7. Providing comprehensive training for interviewers

A recent analysis of 120 interview studies, with 18,158 interviews, showed that interviewer training improves the validity of the interview (Huffcutt & Woehr, 1999). That is, well-trained interviewers make more accurate, consistent predictions about a candidate’s likely performance than do untrained interviewers.

Why Use a Structured Interview?

The employment interview is undoubtedly the most widely used of all potential employee assessments. In the typical unstructured interview, the interviewer asks questions based on the applicant’s resume or from a limited set of “pet” interview questions. Research on unstructured interviews is extensive and not particularly encouraging.

Most unstructured interviews are nearly random events. As an illustration, consider that if selection decisions were purely random and that half of all applicants were hired, the odds of hiring an above-average performer would be 50/50 (half or 50 percent of those hired would perform above average and half would be below average). Based on past research, the odds of hiring an above-average performer using an unstructured interview (versus relying totally on chance) would improve to only 56 percent (Huffcutt & Arthur, 1994). In other words, the typical unstructured interview barely improves upon a roll of the dice. At the risk of discouraging the reader, interviewer accuracy does not appear to improve with experience (most interviewers continue to make the same mistakes).

This same research, however, has shown that structuring the interview can pay handsome dividends. The average structured interview will increase the odds of hiring an above-average performer to 70 percent. While recognizing that no selection method is perfect, this still represents a dramatic improvement. The use of structured interviews increases the chances of hiring an above-average performer from about 56 to 70 percent.

While unstructured interviews are among the least reliable and least valid methods of assessing job candidates, properly structured interviews are among the most reliable (Conway, Jako & Goodman, 1995) and valid methods (Campion, Palmer & Campion, 1997). In measurement terms, reliability refers to the degree of consistency and may take several forms. The consistency with which different interviewers arrive at similar conclusions (inter-rater reliability), the consistency with which the same interviewer reaches the same conclusions after interviewing a candidate on two different occasions (test-retest reliability) and the consistency with which different but related questions yield similar conclusions (internal consistency reliability) are all forms of reliability. Reliability is a necessary condition for validity.

Validity refers to the accuracy of the inferences drawn from the interview about future job performance. It is not the interview form itself that is valid, but the inferences drawn from it (which is why the same interview can be valid or invalid if, for example, it is used with two totally different jobs). As noted previously, structuring an interview for a job is an effective way of increasing the accuracy of inferences (i.e., prediction of job performance) drawn about job candidates (McDaniel, Whetzel, Schmidt and Maurer, 1994).

In addition to the increased reliability and validity of structured interviews, there is also research documenting a relationship between litigation outcomes and the level of structure of the employment interview (Gollub Williamson, Campion, Malos, Roehling, & Campion, 1997). The more structured the interview process, the more likely it is that the employer will receive a favorable verdict when challenged legally.

Finally, a properly constructed and administered structured interview can produce a “competency profile” of key competencies related to the job for each candidate. This profile gives hiring managers insight into candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. This information can help managers focus subsequent steps in the selection process and provide a foundation for developing newly hired or promoted employees. Below is an illustration of a Competency Profile. On this form, ratings of interview performance in given competency areas can be recorded and combined to give an overall look at a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and, therefore, his/her suitability for the target job.

Despite many documented advantages of using structured http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_interview : interviews, many organizations find them to be difficult and time consuming to develop. One study showed that more than two out of three employers rely on unstructured interviews. Structured interviews and assessments are an essential ingredient in a strong http://www.kenexa.com/ : HR Management strategy and one that should not be overlooked.

About the Author: Andrea Watkins writes articles about

HR Management

solutions and

Assessments

from Kenexa, a solutions provider for HR departments around the world. Using employee assessments from Kenexa allow your organization to find the best candidate for the job.

Source:

isnare.com

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<div class=Men isolated to mimic Mars flight
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Men isolated to mimic Mars flight

Monday, June 7, 2010

Following a similar experiment in 2009, six men entered an enclosed room in Moscow last Thursday to simulate a flight to Mars. The Mars-500 team consist of a Chinese man, a Frenchman, an Italian, and three Russians. Only the Chinese man, Wang Yue, is a trained astronaut. The six waved goodbye, crying “see you in 520 days’ time!”.

According to Wang, not being able to see their families and friends was one of the greatest challenges, although e-mail is allowed during the experiment. Both Wang and the Frenchman, Romain Charles, expressed pride to be part of this experiment. Wang said, “it will be trying for all of us. We cannot see our family, we cannot see our friends, but I think it is all a glorious time in our lives.”

The joint-effort project is being organised by the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) and the European Space Agency; the goal is to study physical and psychological effects on would-be astronauts. All six men speak reasonable English; however, as Russian is another primary language for the simulated trip, Russian crew member Sukhrob Kamolov said body language will be used should they fail to understand one another.

Food for the volunteers will be rationed as it would in a real Mars mission. All supplies were supplied by China and loaded into the ‘simulated spacecraft’ prior to the beginning of the experiment. For backup, China is sending three mission support staff to Russia.

No women are included in the crew, excluding issues relating to a mixed-sex crew from the study. During a similar experiment in 1999, a woman complained that the captain attempted to kiss her.

Following 250 days of “travelling” to Mars, the group will split. Three will stay in the “spacecraft”, the other three going to the surface of “Mars”. Only two will actually leave the “spacecraft” to study the surface of “Mars”. After a month, the group will go through the return journey simulation, a 240 day trip. The men will follow a strict timetable, with 8 hours each of sleep, work, and leisure each day.

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Cold Hardy Palm Trees For Northern Garden Planting

Cold Hardy Palm Trees For Northern Garden Planting

By Pat Malcolm

Palm trees were once thought to be suitable for planting only in tropical landscapes, however, several cold hardy palm trees occur naturally, growing in America, where snows fall during winter. The windmill palm tree, Trachycarpus fortunei; the Dwarf Palmetto palm tree, Sabal minor; the Saw palmetto, Serenoa repens; and the Sabal Palm, sabal palmetto; and the Needle Palm, Rhapidophyllun hystrix; Much of the information that is published in book from, magazine articles and Internet websites is extremely conservative, perhaps because the testing for national cold hardiness is of a recent origin; and also temperature fluctuations caused by global warming increases the survival rate of palm tree plantings in recent years. Try buying a few palm trees in your garden to plant and grow. Very large specimen palm trees can be purchased for semi-truck fast delivery at a few Internet nursery websites.

The Windmill palm tree, Trachycarpus fortunei, also is called a Chusan palm and a Chinese Windmill palm tree, was imported from Japan, perhaps first, into the United States, but most botanists believe that this palm tree originated in China, where many seed and specimen trees were purchased to import into the US. Windmill palm trees are a common landscape sight throughout Europe, the United States, and Canada. These Windmill palm trees are very cold hardy, and can be see flourishing along the city streets of Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, where the palms grow up to 40ft in height. The slender, graceful trunks are covered with brown-black fibers that appear as hair from a distance, and with aging, the fibers turn gray, and on large old trees the fibers fall off to reveal a slick beautiful trunk. The waxy leaves are bright green above and silver-green below; growing 2 feet long and 2 feet wide, smaller than most other palm trees. Windmill palm trees grow a flower stalk 2 feet long, with yellow, pleasantly aromatic flowers developing into long blue fruits.

Windmill palm trees, Trachycarpus fortunei, are so cold hardy that semi-truck loads of large specimen sized trees have been nursery distributed for customers in Canada who wish to buy a palm to place in a tropical landscape design. The famous Cloister Hotel at Sea Island, Georgia plants grouping of large Windmill palms, some 20-30 feet for planting near entrances and landscape positions close to buildings. Windmill palms are tolerant of salt water spray and are very adaptable for planting and growing in most areas of the United States.

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The Dwarf Palmetto palm tree, Sabal minor, is not a fast growing plant, and gorws abundantly in pine tree forests, and in poorly drained lowlands. Innumerable colonies of dwarf palmetto palm grow next to the highway between Albany, Georgia and Blakely, Georgia on swampland, that is under water periodically, and the dwarf palmetto palms grow in very heavy shade. Native to the Southeastern US, this palm grows small trunks that remain hidden behind the leaves. The flower stalk grows four to six feet, and white flowers grow into one-half inch, black fruit. This extremely adaptable palm tree is drought tolerant, and popularly is grown as a native, landscape specimen shrub or in rows as a privacy screen. This dwarf palmetto grows beautiful, pest resistant leaves, and can be seen growing as a salt water resistant plant in large landscape borders of Sea Island, Georgia, where land purchasers value the natural appearance and incorporate the plant into landscape designs.

Saw palmetto, Serenoa repens, is one of the native Southeastern plants that has become the rage for planting as a cold hardy palm in Northern States, where it can survive temperatures of -10 F. The beautiful blue or green colored leaves are shiny and waxy, growing about five feet long. The flower stalk grows 3 feet long and appears in the heat of the summer, covered with white flowers that form blue fruit one inch in diameter. The saw palmetto palm tree is very adaptable for cold hardy growing in Northerne states, where temperature extremes damage most other palms. These palm trees are grown mostly as clumping shrubs in naturalistic landscapes. You should buy large Saw palmetto palms, as they do not transplant well and should be planted and grown from a container plant nursery. Very exotic trunks form on century old Saw palmetto palms, that can be seen growing on the sand dunes next to salt water waves spraying the leaves at Sea Island, Georgia. Trunks on these trees had the lower leaves removed to reveal trunks 4ft long that can grow parallel to the ground or at right angels or twisted. All palm tree trunks obviously shaped by storms or hurricanes, that may have blown over the plants rooted in the sand, only to regrow at a different angle. These palm trees must be seen to appreciate a dune of sand landscaped properly.

The Cabbage palm tree (Sabal palmetto) is also called the Sabal Palm, and is believed to be the most commonly planted palm tree in the Southern US. This palm tree is native to that area, and grows in forests throughout Florida and coastal Georgia. The Cabbage palm tree can grow to 40 feet, but only grows about one foot per year. Upon aging, the lower leaf stem remains (petioles) attached for many years, giving the trunk a bazaar, forbidding appearance. After many years, the leaf remains can be removed artificially, or naturally, giving the trunk a slick, desirable look in the landscape. During hot weather, white flowers grow fast, to 6 feet long, to produce one-half inch black fruit that fall to the ground. Sabal palm trees grow as far North as coastal Virginia, and Carolina landscapes, and are cold hardy to below zero temperatures. This Cabbage palm is drought resistant, requires little care or growth maintenance when planted in the landscape, and is so salt water tolerant, it can be found growing along the sea coast, sometimes falling into the ocean with sea erosion.

Sabal palm trees are considered as the State tree in Florida and South Carolina. Because Sable palm tree roots do not branch like other palms, transplanting the tree can be difficult unless the leaves are all removed before transplanting into home landscapes, and since they are not fast growing, it is not unusual for the palm tree to require 3 to 4 years to regrow the canopy leaves to normal size. The cabbage palm is also susceptible to hurricane damage, because its roots are not largely branched like other palm trees to anchor the trunk into the earth.

The Needle Palm, Rhapidoe phyllum histrix, is native to the Southeastern United States, and is considered to be one of the most cold hardy palm trees growing in the United States. Buyers find it difficult to purchase this palm tree, because it has been removed from most of the forests, where it is not a fast growing palm tree. Large trunks up to 4 feet tall are rare, and very expensive, costing each thousands of dollars. But, this needle palm has survived minus 10 degrees F at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in New York for many years, unaffected by the snow and cold temperatures. The leaves are two feet long and 4 feet wide, and the trunk is dangerously armed with white, sharp, 5 inch needles, easily being detached from the trunk, with the overall appearance like that of a porcupine. Even though the needle palm trees hundred of years old are expensive, it is possible to buy smaller plants at reasonable prices for fast shipment at many Internet nursery websites.

About the Author: Patrick A. Malcolm, owner of

TyTy Nursery

, has an M.S. degree in Biochemistry and has cultivated palm trees for over three decades.

Source:

isnare.com

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<div class=2007 Frankfurt International Book Fair opens
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2007 Frankfurt International Book Fair opens

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday morning, the Frankfurt Book Fair opened its gates to the first of an estimated 280,000 visitors this year in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest book fair in the world. It also organises the participation of German publishers at more than 25 international book fairs and is the co-founder of the Cape Town Book Fair in South Africa. It maintains the most visited website worldwide for the publishing industry.

The German Publishers & Booksellers Association, which runs the Frankfurt Book Fair, says that the book market is thriving. It declared on Tuesday that the high number of exhibitors and the record numbers of 7,448 exhibitors from over 100 countries, showing 391,652 books, including 121,267 new books of this year, proves that the book market is thriving.

Publishing houses have long since expanded into non-traditional markets. TV and merchandising rights have long played a role, but have become more and more important for larger projects. Two other media forms have also become more standard elements of the value chain. E-books and audiobooks are both big topics of this year’s Book Fair.

The various awards handed out during and around the fair show the variety and scope of media and interests represented at the Frankfurt Book Fair:

  • On Sunday, October 7, Australian writer Michelle de Kretser, born in Colombo. Sri Lanka, was awarded the LiBeratur-award for the German edition of her book ‘The Hamilton Case’, previously published in English with Little, Brown and Company, New York. The LiBeratur-award for an outstanding publication of a woman from Africa, Asia and Latin America in German language in the previous year, was awarded for the 20th time.
  • On Tuesday, October 9, German author Julia Franck was honoured with the German Book Prize for her novel ‘Die Mittagsfrau’. Against the background of two world wars, Julia Franck tells the disturbing story of a woman who leaves her son, without fnding herself.
  • On Wednesday, October 10, the software award GIGA-Maus for family friendly and educational entertainment was awarded to Wii Sports (Nintendo) for best software of the year. The award of the children judges went to Buzz! Junior: Robo Jam(Sony, PS2).
  • On Sunday, October 14, the Peace Prize of the German Booksellers will be awarded to Saul Friedländer, for his retelling of the Shoah as one of the most important historiographers of the time.

Prizes still open include the German Young Literature Award on Friday and the Fantasy Final of the first German Cosplay Masters at the comic-centre of the book fair.

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<div class=U.S. judge orders release of President Trump’s tax records, appeals court issues delay
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U.S. judge orders release of President Trump’s tax records, appeals court issues delay

Thursday, October 10, 2019

On Monday, United States District Court Judge Victor Marrero issued a ruling against President Donald Trump finding that New York City prosecutors could view his tax records after a subpoena issued by a grand jury. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating Trump over alleged hush money paid to two women with whom he has been alleged to have had affairs. Such payments could be considered bribery. President Trump sued Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. and his own tax preparer Mazars USA to block the release of eight years of tax returns to the grand jury, but Judge Marrero dismissed the president’s lawsuit. The president’s legal team appealed the decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued an administrative stay to Marrero’s order about an hour and a half after the district court ruling.

The appeals court ruling placed a stay on the district court’s ruling until it hears arguments from the president’s lawyers and District Attorney Vance’s office. According to a court clerk, arguments in the case would be scheduled as soon as the week of October 21, with briefs from both parties due in the intervening time until then.

Trump had asked the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York intervene in a New York City criminal proceeding, in which a subpoena had been issued to Trump’s tax preparer. He sought such intervention to prevent Mazars from releasing his tax returns, arguing that, as president, he should be immune from prosecution, and that, by extension, his tax preparer, Mazars USA, could likewise be exempt from investigation. Marrero rejected this argument:

The notion of federal supremacy and presidential immunity from judicial process that the President here invokes, unqualified and boundless in its reach as described above, cuts across the grain of […] constitutional precedents. It also ignores the analytic framework that the Supreme Court has counseled should guide review of presidential claims of immunity from judicial process. Of equal fundamental concern, the President’s claim would tread upon principles of federalism and comity that form essential components of our constitutional structure and the federal/state balance of government powers and functions. Bared to its core, the proposition the President advances reduces to the very notion that the Founders rejected at the inception of the Republic, and that the Supreme Court has since unequivocally repudiated: that a constitutional domain exists in this country in which not only the President, but, derivatively, relatives and persons and business entities associated with him in potentially unlawful private activities, are in fact above the law.

Because this Court finds aspects of such a doctrine repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values, and for reasons further stated below, it ABSTAINS from adjudicating this dispute and DISMISSES the President’s suit.

Following Marrero’s order, the appeals court issued a stay, delaying Mazars’ compliance with the subpoena until it could review the case.

Trump responded to the ruling via Twitter, attacking the subpoena as a political strategy: “The Radical Left Democrats have failed on all fronts, so now they are pushing local New York City and State Democrat prosecutors to go get President Trump.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office began its probe into Trump’s financial affairs after his former lawyer Michael Cohen was convicted of federal campaign finance law violations connected to payments made to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal to remain silent about alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen is serving a three-year-long prison sentence.

Trump has admitted to ordering the payments, according to prosecutors, but the U.S. Justice Department maintains a policy of not charging the sitting president with crimes.

In recent United States history, it has been customary, but voluntary, for presidential candidates to release their tax returns when running for office. Trump was the first president to refuse to do so since 1976. Trump has cited an Internal Revenue Service audit as prohibiting him from releasing them. The president has a lawsuit to prevent a New York State law from allowing the House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means from gaining access to his records.

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Nigerian sentenced to death for admitting to gay relations

Saturday, July 9, 2005Philip Alston, an official with the United Nations is decrying a Nigerian court decision to sentence a 50-year-old man to death by stoning after he admitted to having sex with another man. Reports have not named the individual.

The incident in question happened after the 50-year-old man was acquitted of charges that he had sexual relations with a much younger man. During further questioning, the judge asked the accused if he ever had sex with any other men.

Upon answering yes, the judge convicted the man of sodomy and sentenced him to death by stoning.

Nigeria, the most populous African country, is one of many countries that has started to adopt Sharia, or traditional Islamic law as detailed in the Koran. Since 2000, 12 of Nigeria’s northernmost states have adopted Sharia codes for their courtrooms. Under Islamic law, homosexual conduct is a crime punishable by death.

“Sodomy cannot be considered one of the most serious crimes for which, under international law, the death penalty can be prescribed. The punishment is wholly disproportionate,” Alston, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, said in a written statement Friday.

Nigeria’s southern states are mostly Christian and do not follow Sharia law.

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It Dumps 200 105 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (Icnd2 V3.0) Real Exam}

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