Scotland denies bail to terminally ill man convicted of Lockerbie bombing

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Scotland has refused bail to the Libyan man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 despite his terminal cancer, as he can receive treatment in prison. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi was jailed in 2001 for the 1988 bombing of the transatlantic airliner, killing 270 people, but is seeking to have his conviction overturned.

Minutes after Edinburgh’s Appeals Court rejected bail on compassionate grounds Jim Swire, spokesman for the victim’s families who lost his daughter in the disaster, complained about the ruling. “It has never been a goal of our group to seek revenge,” said a lawyer outside the court reading from his statement. “The refusal of a return to his family for a dying man whose verdict is not even yet secure looks uncomfortably like either an aspect of revenge — or perhaps timidity.”

Al-Megrahi, a former intelligence officer, is 54 and serving a minimum of 27 years for the bombing. He has advanced prostate cancer which is spreading through his body. His request for bail was rejected by Lord Hamilton, Scotland’s head judge, who said that as doctors say he could live a few more years he should not be released unless and until after his appeal succeeds or his condition worsens.

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Some other doctors give his time as just months, as the cancer has reached his bones. Hamilton however said that palliative hormone treatment could prolong his life. Hamilton also said Al-Megrahi was not suffering “material pain or disability”.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission ruled last year that the conviction may be a miscarriage of justice. It said there was significant doubts to be raised over several key pieces of evidence in the original trial.

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Bush’s Iraq ‘Strategy’ seen as public relations exercise

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Sunday, December 4, 2005

The US commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq said that he had no knowledge of the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq document released by the US President. This, along with speculation that the document was chiefly authored by a public opinion analyst recruited by the White House have led to some critics claiming that the drafted ‘strategy’ is targeting US public opinion, not the Iraqi insurgency.

The military, political and economic strategy for Iraq, outlined last week by President Bush in a speech at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was based by a 35-page document titled the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq. A metadata tag on the document posted on the White House website identified its author as a computer user ‘feaver_p’. It is believed to refer to Dr. Peter D. Feaver, a special advisor to the National Security Council staff.

A political scientist at Duke University, Dr. Feaver analyzed public opinion polls about the Iraq war and attitudes towards war casualties. Dr. Feaver found that US public opinion will support military engagement abroad, despite growing casualties, provided that the public believed that the war was being fought for a worthy cause and that victory was achievable.

Dr. Feaver was one of the people who helped “conceive and draft” the document, according to a White House staffer, who said that Meghan L. O’Sullivan, the deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan, and her staff played a larger role. White House officials confirmed to the New York Times that the document’s “creation and presentation strongly reflected the public opinion research”.

The document “reflects the broad interagency effort under way in Iraq” according to an NSC spokesman Frederick Jones and had received major contributions from the Departments of Defense, State, Treasury and Homeland Security, as well as the director of National Intelligence.

On Friday, Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, whose Multinational Security Transition Command is responsible for building Iraq’s security forces, told reporters that he had seen the strategy document for the first time when it was released to the public. The White House had said that not all senior officers in Iraq had necessarily seen the document and Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that he had read and critiqued the document on several occasions.

Earlier, replying to questions about the President’s strategy, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that the document was an “inter-agency document” and an “unclassified version” of the administrations “strategy for victory in Iraq” published for the public to view.

Christopher F. Gelpi, of Duke University, who co-authored Dr. Feaver’s work titled Casualty Sensitivity and the War in Iraq, stated, “The Pentagon doesn’t need the president to give a speech and post a document on the White House Web site to know how to fight the insurgents. The document is clearly targeted at American public opinion.” In their work together, Gelpi, Feaver and Reifler found that the most important factor which determines the US public’s tolerance for US military deaths in a war is the public’s beliefs about the likelihood of success, and a secondary, but still important, factor, was found to be the public’s belief in the rightness of a war.

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Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Israel_Journal:_Is_Yossi_Vardi_a_good_father_to_his_entrepreneurial_children%3F&oldid=1979332”

Australian government hopes to establish triage by phone

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Australian federal government hopes to slash hospital emergency department waiting queues by setting up a 24-hour national medical hotline.

A government source said that the National Health Call Centre Network would be manned by registered triage nurses 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Triage nurses would perform a diagnosis over the phone based upon the description given by the patient. The patient would then be referred to the nearest emergency department, their local GP or pharmacy – as determined by the nurse.

The issue is expected to be discussed at next month’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra. It is believed that the states and territories are supportive of the system.

If agreed upon by COAG, the service will be jointly funded by state/territory and the commonwealth governments at a cost of $40 million a year. The service would take 18 months to set up.

The service will be ran from a centralised call centre and be managed by a private contractor.

Julia Gillard, the opposition’s spokeswoman for health said any national call service needed to be linked with local GPs and medical services.

Gillard claims that under a Labor government, an after-hours “Pizza Hut” style service would be implemented, with a single national number connecting to a local call centre.

“You would be talking to people in the locality you are in and who know the local services,” she said

The Australian Medical Association, an organisation representing more than 27,000 doctors in Australia has slammed the proposal saying it will only deter people from seeking appropriate medical treatment.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Australian_government_hopes_to_establish_triage_by_phone&oldid=1059187”

George Bush: Rescue plan will get through

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

George W. Bush vowed to get the USD 700 billion economic rescue plan through congress in a statement to the media made today.

“Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted on a financial rescue plan that had been negotiated by Congressional leaders of both parties and my administration,” Bush reminded the audience. “Unfortunately, the measure was defeated by a narrow margin. I’m disappointed by the outcome, but I assure our citizens and citizens around the world that this is not the end of the legislative process.”

“Producing legislation is complicated, and it can be contentious. It matters little what a path a bill takes to become law,” he continued. “We’re at a critical moment for our economy, and we need legislation that decisively address the troubled assets now clogging the financial system, helps lenders resume the flow of credit to consumers and businesses, and allows the American economy to get moving again.”

Market Data

23:45, 30 September, 2008 (UTC)
  • DJIA
  • 10.850,70 485,21 4,68%
  • Nasdaq
  • 2.082,33 98,60 4.97%
  • S&P 500
  • 1.166,36 59,97 5,42%
  • S&P TSX
  • 11.752,90 467,83 4.15%
  • IPC
  • 24.888,90 933,23 3,90%
  • Merval
  • 1.598,170 52.720 3,41%
  • Bovespa
  • 49.541,27 3,513.21 7,63%
  • FTSE 100
  • 4.902,45 83,68 1,74%
  • DAX
  • 5.831,02 23,94 0,41%
  • CAC 40
  • 4.032,10 78,62 1,99%
  • SMI
  • 6.654,89 154,76 2,38%
  • AEX
  • 331,45 7,90 2,44%
  • BEL20
  • 2.672,20 82,73 3,19%
  • MIBTel
  • 19.512,00 110,00 0,56%
  • IBEX 35
  • 10.987,50 41,80 0,38%
  • All Ordinaries
  • 4.631,30 207,90 4,30%
  • Nikkei
  • 11.259,90 483,75 4,12%
  • Hang Seng
  • 18.016,20 135,53 0,76%
  • SSE Composite
  • 2.293,78 3,72 0,16%

    “I recognize this is a difficult vote for members of Congress. Many of them don’t like the fact that our economy has reached this point, and I understand that. But the reality is that we are in an urgent situation, and the consequences will grow worse each day if we do not act. The dramatic drop in the stock market that we saw yesterday will have a direct impact on the retirement accounts, pension funds, and personal savings of millions of our citizens. And if our nation continues on this course, the economic damage will be painful and lasting.”World and US markets today are up after severe declines yesterday. Most have recovered 30% of their previous losses, meaning that the potential government expenditure was similar to the market losses.

    Bush then said that he knows “many Americans are especially worried about the cost of the legislation.” He then attempted to justify the cost. “The bill the House considered yesterday commits up to 700 billion taxpayer dollars to purchase troubled assets from banks and other financial institutions. That, no question, is a large amount of money. We’re also dealing with a large problem. But to put that in perspective, the drop in the stock market yesterday represented more than a trillion dollars in losses.”

    If passed, the bailout plan would have allowed for the United States government to purchase devalued mortgage backed securities, resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis, from troubled financial institutions. The US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the plan could cost up to $700 billion.

    Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=George_Bush:_Rescue_plan_will_get_through&oldid=4492983”

    2006 U.S. Congressional Elections

    Author:  |  Category: Uncategorized

    Wednesday, November 8, 2006

    As of 10:00 p.m EST November 8, 2006, the Democratic Party is projected to have gained control of both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in the 2006 United States general elections. MSNBC projects that the Democrats now control 234 seats in the House of Representatives, 16 more seats than the 218 needed to control the House of Representatives as all 435 seats were up for election. In the Senate, where the balance of power is closer, one-third of all seats were up for grab. As of 10:00 p.m. EST, AP and Reuters were projecting that the Democrats had picked up all six seats they needed to retake the Senate, including the seats of incumbents Rick Santorum (Penn.), Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), Jim Talent (Missouri), Mike DeWine (Ohio), Jon Tester (Montana), and Jim Webb (VA). The Tester victory by less than 3,000 votes was projected at approximately 2 p.m. EST after the State of Montana announced the results of overnight recounts. Democrat Jim Webb has prevailed in that race by slightly more than 7,000 votes, though his opponent has not conceded and a recount may still occur.

    Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=2006_U.S._Congressional_Elections&oldid=4696685”

    Digital Technologies Driving Healthcare Industry In 2020

    Author:  |  Category: Medical Training

    The healthcare industry is expected to reach $280 billion in upcoming years.

    2020 will be an essential year for the health industry. When it is about digital health trends, law, artificial intelligence, telemedicine is used to solve the biggest challenges of our age.

    Here is a list of the major trends you should know about digital health technologies in 2020:

    Most essential digital health trend is MDR:

    MDR i.e., Medical Device Regulation, will transform the entire admin scene in the EU. This is going to create an immense impact on mobile app development companies.

    The MDR came in order in 2017 and implemented from May 26, 2020.

    From that date, every new gadget should have promoted, sold, or appropriated in the European market and need to be confirmed. Strategize successfully and keep your health tech data secure, which guarantees you have great partners.

    Health systems with telemedicine:

    2020 is going to be the year of telemedicine as it is now mainstream in the healthcare industry. Personal health investment is booming at all lengths, prolonging the healthcare development circuit.

    Almost every app and gadget is enabling healthcare application development companies to monitor, diagnose, and treat patients remotely.

    It has real-time monitoring of ECG, GP consultation, and robots for doing surgery remotely.

    Telemedicine is finding applications with monitors that remotely store a patient’s observation.

    AI-enhanced technologies mimicking human-based behavior can drive innovation. Healthcare development companies must understand to make maximum use of AI technology to improve healthcare processes that achieve value with improved performance.

    Telemedicine provides personalized and urgent care to patients and frees healthcare providers to deal with the higher number of critical cases.

    Big Data and Analytics for Patient Care:

    In the US, health care spending is highly expensive. Overall spending is $ 3.8 trillion per year.

    Patient and patient care have revolutionized the way you think about health care. The analysis of this data provides a way to gain essential insights into medical conditions. At the individual level, data can form the basis for machine learning (AI), which models predict heart attacks.

    On a broader scale, it provides an opportunity to transform epidemiology and save lives with mobile health globally.

    Medical Artificial Intelligence:

    Medical artificial intelligence has grown with big data analytics for diagnosis and care of the patient.

    It will range from chatbots to initiate patients for help with emergency conditions for real-time diagnosis of heart attacks with the help of machine learning.

    AI-based applications seek to improve and personalize healthcare delivery for individuals.

    However, there are various challenges based on legal as well as technical for using the AI in health technology. Medical Data is usually taken in a distinct format and needs to be analyzed under observation in every few hours. This will transform the approach of traditional healthcare through machine learning. They could limit the application of AI in some scenarios where consent is the core of data processing under law.

    The concept of creating a mobile app that is based on an anomaly detection system, a machine learning solution that exposes the intrusion of malignant tumors into health monitoring devices (such as MRI scans). Which is capable of intrusion detection? There is no anonymity in health care processes.

    Population and its age:

    The most prominent hurdle for global healthcare is demographics. Advancement in healthcare leads people to live more. But, the aging population can create a significant burden on healthcare app development firms.

    Digital health applications and other digital devices can help leverage digital healthcare technology trends, often in different ways.

    However, with increasing age by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over 65 (16%), one in 11 (9%) in 2019. It will open healthcare software development companies to address through Big Data and AI health issues via Healthcare software applications to improve care outcomes for patients in a hospital setting.

    mHealth Apps and Wearable devices:

    Virtual testing powered by wearable devices and the M-Healthcare smartphone app is expected to reach $ 450 million.

    The virtual clinical trial concept is likely to emerge as it allows you to participate in trials of the clinic from your home or any other location.

    The emergence of virtual tests helps reduce costs, as well as streamline processes and demonstrate real-world efficacy.

    Augmented Reality role in Surgeries:

    AR-based headsets and solutions take advantage of 2D images and other patient data and build 3D models of patient anatomy.

    AR is a technique that is capable of revolutionizing the efficiency and cost optimization aspects of surgery while improving the error rate due to high accuracy and target detection within the patient’s body in the context of surgical navigation.

    Also, the benefits of surgeon comfort, low effort, low wastage, or possibly low cost are parallel to AR’s performance systems.

    EHR Blockchain Interoperability:

    Blockchain has been a leader in healthcare, helping EHRs (electronic health records) with interoperability.

    A significant challenge for doctors, resulting in regulatory non-specialization, poor referral management to specialists, now stays in the patient upon hospitalization and is unreadable in the hospital – all because the care team needs your complete medical history (eg, allergies Item). Access to specific drugs is not required.

    Summing up:

    Now that we have discussed about the trend of the most recent digital health technologies that will transform the landscape of the healthcare industry in 2020.

    The future of healthcare application development companies to create healthcare applications empowered with AI and blockchain.

    Look at these health trends shaping the healthcare industry, highlighting the endless possibilities the healthcare industry has to offer with health-based apps.

    Contact us now.

    Source Link –

    Iran dismisses United Nations resolution imposing sanctions

    Author:  |  Category: Uncategorized

    Sunday, December 24, 2006

    A unanimously passed United Nations Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran has been dismissed by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a “piece of paper.” Ahmadinejad said that it is in “the best interest of the West” to have a “nuclear Iran” and that Iran will not stop enriching uranium.

    “It is a piece of torn paper … by which they aim to scare Iranians … It is in the Westerners’ interests to live with a nuclear Iran,” said Ahmadinejad.

    Ahmadinejad also goes on to say that anyone who “backs” the U.N. resolution will “soon regret” their acts. He also added that in “February, Iranians will celebrate” the nation becoming a nuclear power.

    “This resolution will not harm Iran and those who backed it will soon regret their superficial act. Iranians are neither worried nor uncomfortable with the resolution … we will celebrate our atomic achievements in February,” added Ahmadinejad.

    On December 23, 2006, the U.N. stated that the resolution is “determined to give effect to its unmet 31 July demand that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. The Security Council today imposed sanctions on that country [Iran], blocking the import or export of sensitive nuclear material and equipment and freezing the financial assets of persons or entities supporting its proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear-weapon delivery systems,” reported the press release on the U.N.’s website.

    The U.N. also said that Iran must suspend all uranium enrichment and that the sanction would be lifted if the country complies with the U.N..

    “Unanimously adopting resolution 1737 (2006) under Article 41 of the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council decided that Iran should, without further delay, suspend the following proliferation sensitive nuclear activities: all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development; and work on all heavy-water related projects, including the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water. The halt to those activities would be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”

    The U.N. also stated that “specifically, all States [countries] should prevent the supply, sale or transfer, for the use by or benefit of Iran, of related equipment and technology, if the State determined that such items would contribute to enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy-water related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems. The Council decided it would terminate the measures if Iran fully complied with its obligations, or adopt additional ones and possible further decisions if the country did not.”

    Iran also said that beginning on “Sunday morning, we [Iran] will begin activities at Natanz” which has “3,000 centrifuges” which they “will drive them with full speed” in response to the U.N.’s resolution.

    “From Sunday morning, we will begin activities at Natanz, the site of 3,000-centrifuge machines, and we will drive it with full speed. It will be our immediate response to the resolution,” said Ali Larijani, the top nuclear negotiator for Iran.

    The U.N. will review the resolution and Iran’s activities in 60 days.

    Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Iran_dismisses_United_Nations_resolution_imposing_sanctions&oldid=1977209”

    Bat for Lashes plays the Bowery Ballroom: an Interview with Natasha Khan

    Author:  |  Category: Uncategorized

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Bat for Lashes is the doppelgänger band ego of one of the leading millennial lights in British music, Natasha Khan. Caroline Weeks, Abi Fry and Lizzy Carey comprise the aurora borealis that backs this haunting, shimmering zither and glockenspiel peacock, and the only complaint coming from the audience at the Bowery Ballroom last Tuesday was that they could not camp out all night underneath these celestial bodies.

    We live in the age of the lazy tendency to categorize the work of one artist against another, and Khan has had endless exultations as the next Björk and Kate Bush; Sixousie Sioux, Stevie Nicks, Sinead O’Connor, the list goes on until it is almost meaningless as comparison does little justice to the sound and vision of the band. “I think Bat For Lashes are beyond a trend or fashion band,” said Jefferson Hack, publisher of Dazed & Confused magazine. “[Khan] has an ancient power…she is in part shamanic.” She describes her aesthetic as “powerful women with a cosmic edge” as seen in Jane Birkin, Nico and Cleopatra. And these women are being heard. “I love the harpsichord and the sexual ghost voices and bowed saws,” said Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke of the track Horse and I. “This song seems to come from the world of Grimm’s fairytales.”

    Bat’s debut album, Fur And Gold, was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, and they were seen as the dark horse favorite until it was announced Klaxons had won. Even Ladbrokes, the largest gambling company in the United Kingdom, had put their money on Bat for Lashes. “It was a surprise that Klaxons won,” said Khan, “but I think everyone up for the award is brilliant and would have deserved to win.”

    Natasha recently spoke with David Shankbone about art, transvestism and drug use in the music business.


    DS: Do you have any favorite books?

    NK: [Laughs] I’m not the best about finishing books. What I usually do is I will get into a book for a period of time, and then I will dip into it and get the inspiration and transformation in my mind that I need, and then put it away and come back to it. But I have a select rotation of cool books, like Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and Little Birds by Anaïs Nin. Recently, Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch.

    DS: Lynch just came out with a movie last year called Inland Empire. I interviewed John Vanderslice last night at the Bowery Ballroom and he raved about it!

    NK: I haven’t seen it yet!

    DS: Do you notice a difference between playing in front of British and American audiences?

    NK: The U.S. audiences are much more full of expression and noises and jubilation. They are like, “Welcome to New York, Baby!” “You’re Awesome!” and stuff like that. Whereas in England they tend to be a lot more reserved. Well, the English are, but it is such a diverse culture you will get the Spanish and Italian gay guys at the front who are going crazy. I definitely think in America they are much more open and there is more excitement, which is really cool.

    DS: How many instruments do you play and, please, include the glockenspiel in that number.

    NK: [Laughs] I think the number is limitless, hopefully. I try my hand at anything I can contribute; I only just picked up the bass, really—

    DS: –I have a great photo of you playing the bass.

    NK: I don’t think I’m very good…

    DS: You look cool with it!

    NK: [Laughs] Fine. The glockenspiel…piano, mainly, and also the harp. Guitar, I like playing percussion and drumming. I usually speak with all my drummers so that I write my songs with them in mind, and we’ll have bass sounds, choir sounds, and then you can multi-task with all these orchestral sounds. Through the magic medium of technology I can play all kinds of sounds, double bass and stuff.

    DS: Do you design your own clothes?

    NK: All four of us girls love vintage shopping and charity shops. We don’t have a stylist who tells us what to wear, it’s all very much our own natural styles coming through. And for me, personally, I like to wear jewelery. On the night of the New York show that top I was wearing was made especially for me as a gift by these New York designers called Pepper + Pistol. And there’s also my boyfriend, who is an amazing musician—

    DS: —that’s Will Lemon from Moon and Moon, right? There is such good buzz about them here in New York.

    NK: Yes! They have an album coming out in February and it will fucking blow your mind! I think you would love it, it’s an incredible masterpiece. It’s really exciting, I’m hoping we can do a crazy double unfolding caravan show, the Bat for Lashes album and the new Moon and Moon album: that would be really theatrical and amazing! Will prints a lot of my T-shirts because he does amazing tapestries and silkscreen printing on clothes. When we play there’s a velvety kind of tapestry on the keyboard table that he made. So I wear a lot of his things, thrift store stuff, old bits of jewelry and antique pieces.

    DS: You are often compared to Björk and Kate Bush; do those constant comparisons tend to bother you as an artist who is trying to define herself on her own terms?

    NK: No, I mean, I guess that in the past it bothered me, but now I just feel really confident and sure that as time goes on my musical style and my writing is taking a pace of its own, and I think in time the music will speak for itself and people will see that I’m obviously doing something different. Those women are fantastic, strong, risk-taking artists—

    DS: —as are you—

    NK: —thank you, and that’s a great tradition to be part of, and when I look at artists like Björk and Kate Bush, I think of them as being like older sisters that have come before; they are kind of like an amazing support network that comes with me.

    DS: I’d imagine it’s preferable to be considered the next Björk or Kate Bush instead of the next Britney.

    NK: [Laughs] Totally! Exactly! I mean, could you imagine—oh, no I’m not going to try to offend anyone now! [Laughs] Let’s leave it there.

    DS: Does music feed your artwork, or does you artwork feed your music more? Or is the relationship completely symbiotic?

    NK: I think it’s pretty back-and-forth. I think when I have blocks in either of those area, I tend to emphasize the other. If I’m finding it really difficult to write something I know that I need to go investigate it in a more visual way, and I’ll start to gather images and take photographs and make notes and make collages and start looking to photographers and filmmakers to give me a more grounded sense of the place that I’m writing about, whether it’s in my imagination or in the characters. Whenever I’m writing music it’s a very visual place in my mind. It has a location full of characters and colors and landscapes, so those two things really compliment each other, and they help the other one to blossom and support the other. They are like brother and sister.

    DS: When you are composing music, do you see notes and words as colors and images in your mind, and then you put those down on paper?

    NK: Yes. When I’m writing songs, especially lately because I think the next album has a fairly strong concept behind it and I’m writing the songs, really imagining them, so I’m very immersed into the concept of the album and the story that is there through the album. It’s the same as when I’m playing live, I will imagine I see a forest of pine trees and sky all around me and the audience, and it really helps me. Or I’ll just imagine midnight blue and emerald green, those kind of Eighties colors, and they help me.

    DS: Is it always pine trees that you see?

    NK: Yes, pine trees and sky, I guess.

    DS: What things in nature inspire you?

    NK: I feel drained thematically if I’m in the city too long. I think that when I’m in nature—for example, I went to Big Sur last year on a road trip and just looking up and seeing dark shadows of trees and starry skies really gets me and makes me feel happy. I would sit right by the sea, and any time I have been a bit stuck I will go for a long walk along the ocean and it’s just really good to see vast horizons, I think, and epic, huge, all-encompassing visions of nature really humble you and give you a good sense of perspective and the fact that you are just a small particle of energy that is vibrating along with everything else. That really helps.

    DS: Are there man-made things that inspire you?

    NK: Things that are more cultural, like open air cinemas, old Peruvian flats and the Chelsea Hotel. Funny old drag queen karaoke bars…

    DS: I photographed some of the famous drag queens here in New York. They are just such great creatures to photograph; they will do just about anything for the camera. I photographed a famous drag queen named Miss Understood who is the emcee at a drag queen restaurant here named Lucky Cheng’s. We were out in front of Lucky Cheng’s taking photographs and a bus was coming down First Avenue, and I said, “Go out and stop that bus!” and she did! It’s an amazing shot.

    NK: Oh. My. God.

    DS: If you go on her Wikipedia article it’s there.

    NK: That’s so cool. I’m really getting into that whole psychedelic sixties and seventies Paris Is Burning and Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis. Things like The Cockettes. There seems to be a bit of a revolution coming through that kind of psychedelic drag queen theater.

    DS: There are just so few areas left where there is natural edge and art that is not contrived. It’s taking a contrived thing like changing your gender, but in the backdrop of how that is still so socially unacceptable.

    NK: Yeah, the theatrics and creativity that go into that really get me. I’m thinking about The Fisher King…do you know that drag queen in The Fisher King? There’s this really bad and amazing drag queen guy in it who is so vulnerable and sensitive. He sings these amazing songs but he has this really terrible drug problem, I think, or maybe it’s a drink problem. It’s so bordering on the line between fabulous and those people you see who are so in love with the idea of beauty and elevation and the glitz and the glamor of love and beauty, but then there’s this really dark, tragic side. It’s presented together in this confusing and bewildering way, and it always just gets to me. I find it really intriguing.

    DS: How are you received in the Pakistani community?

    NK: [Laughs] I have absolutely no idea! You should probably ask another question, because I have no idea. I don’t have contact with that side of my family anymore.

    DS: When you see artists like Pete Doherty or Amy Winehouse out on these suicidal binges of drug use, what do you think as a musician? What do you get from what you see them go through in their personal lives and with their music?

    NK: It’s difficult. The drugs thing was never important to me, it was the music and expression and the way he delivered his music, and I think there’s a strange kind of romantic delusion in the media, and the music media especially, where they are obsessed with people who have terrible drug problems. I think that’s always been the way, though, since Billie Holiday. The thing that I’m questioning now is that it seems now the celebrity angle means that the lifestyle takes over from the actual music. In the past people who had musical genius, unfortunately their personal lives came into play, but maybe that added a level of romance, which I think is pretty uncool, but, whatever. I think that as long as the lifestyle doesn’t precede the talent and the music, that’s okay, but it always feels uncomfortable for me when people’s music goes really far and if you took away the hysteria and propaganda of it, would the music still stand up? That’s my question. Just for me, I’m just glad I don’t do heavy drugs and I don’t have that kind of problem, thank God. I feel that’s a responsibility you have, to present that there’s a power in integrity and strength and in the lifestyle that comes from self-love and assuredness and positivity. I think there’s a real big place for that, but it doesn’t really get as much of that “Rock n’ Roll” play or whatever.

    DS: Is it difficult to come to the United States to play considering all the wars we start?

    NK: As an English person I feel equally as responsible for that kind of shit. I think it is a collective consciousness that allows violence and those kinds of things to continue, and I think that our governments should be ashamed of themselves. But at the same time, it’s a responsibility of all of our countries, no matter where you are in the world to promote a peaceful lifestyle and not to consciously allow these conflicts to continue. At the same time, I find it difficult to judge because I think that the world is full of shades of light and dark, from spectrums of pure light and pure darkness, and that’s the way human nature and nature itself has always been. It’s difficult, but it’s just a process, and it’s the big creature that’s the world; humankind is a big creature that is learning all the time. And we have to go through these processes of learning to see what is right.
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    Cisco sues Apple for iPhone trademark

    Author:  |  Category: Uncategorized

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    The iPhone only made its appearance as a prototype and there have been controversies aroused.

    The dispute has come up between the manufacturer of the iPhone (which was presented on Wednesday for the first time) — Apple Inc. — and a leader in network and communication systems, based in San Jose — Cisco. The company claims to possess the trademark for iPhone, and moreover, that it sells devices under the same brand through one of its divisions.

    This became the reason for Cisco to file a lawsuit against Apple Inc. so that the latter would stop selling the device.

    Cisco states that it has received the trademark in 2000, when the company overtook Infogear Technology Corp., which took place in 1996.

    The Vice President and general counsel of the company, Mark Chandler, explained that there was no doubt about the excitement of the new device from Apple, but they should not use a trademark, which belongs to Cisco.

    The iPhone developed by Cisco is a device which allows users to make phone calls over the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).

    Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Cisco_sues_Apple_for_iPhone_trademark&oldid=4601674”